Hannah Shaw, who has already built a loyal following for her picture books, has turned to fiction with this adventure-filled story about rats, sewers and not to forget the poo - which young readers will love. She also puts her considerable illustrative talents to use with incident-filled black and white drawings on every page. The story, about a sewer rat called Stan Stinky, is a great starting point to inspire children to think about the world from another creature's perspective - in this case, rats - and to write 'holiday diaries'. In the story, Stan is distraught to be sent to stay with his Uncle Captain Ratts (and side-kick Roachy the cockroach) during the summer holidays while all the other rats have stowed away on cruise ships to the Bahamas. However, he is soon caught up in an adventure of his own, to discover what is causing the terrible smells in Slime-on-the-Sewer. Run-ins with humans, old socks and pants follow as Captain Ratts and 'sewer hero' Stan set off to save Slime-on-the-Sewer. The story is actually Stan's summer holiday diary and it's packed with pages of his hand-written accounts, postcards home, treasure maps and diagrams, so there are plenty of different writing and illustrative styles that children can explore before beginning to write their own diaries. Apart from the literacy links, there are other areas to explore including finding out about our sewer networks and how they work, as well as recycling and the environment, drawing maps and diagrams, and - on the back pages of the book - ideas such as building a boat from recycled boxes and '20 uses for old socks', which could inspire some interesting discussions and drawings around re-using old clothing.