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Literature / Hooway For Wodney Wat

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Hooway for Wodney Wat is a 1999 picture book by Helen Lester. The author has mentioned it as one of her favorites.

Rodney Rat cannot get a break. His speech impediment makes him the laughingstock of the class and leaves him at the outskirts of social activities. When an intimidating new student, Camilla Capybara, arrives, Rodney thinks things can't get much worse. However, clever use of his impediment winds up as the key to defeating Camilla.

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Some time later, the book received a sequel, Wodney Wat's Wobot.

This book includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: Virtually all the named characters in the story (Rodney Rat, Minifeet Mouse, Grizzlefriz Guinea Pig, Camilla Capybara) have matching first names and surnames.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: All the rest of the students bully Rodney over his speech impediment, such as by asking him for answers that will reveal his rhotacism. This changes after he gets rid of Camilla.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: The hero of the book, Rodney Rat, cannot pronounce his R's, no matter how hard he tries. Rodney's speech impediment is used to his advantage against a loud and annoying new classmate, Camilla Capybara, to the delight of the west of the class.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Capybaras are not often mentioned in media, especially children's books.
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  • Too Clever by Half: Camilla brags when she enters the class that she's smarter than any of the other students, and she does manage to answer every question the teacher asks. She even proves herself able to tell directions by the sun. However, she completely fails to account for Rodney's speech impediment, which leads to her misinterpreting sentences that the rest of the student body can easily translate.
  • Trampled Underfoot: Camilla runs over everyone else on her way to the playground.
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