Books by Marilyn Helmer

Released: Sept. 1, 1999

After a very slow start, Helmer's story of two grumps finding one another comes to a gratifying conclusion. Mr. McGratt has his problems, but when it comes to the ornery cat that arrives one day and won't leave, he becomes angry, bellowing, "Scat! Scram! Skedaddle!" Three times, various neighbors take the cat off Mr. McGratt's hands, and three times they return the beast. Slyly worked into the story are the cat's positive features: he chases the starlings out of the pear tree; he fends off the newspaper-shredding neighborhood dog; he keeps Mr. McGratt's pumpkin patch clear of gourd-smashing trespassers. Helmer never trumpets those talents, so it comes as a pleasant revelation when they are summed up at the end of the book and appreciated by Mr. McGratt, who offers the cat a home. A crafty introduction to kismet, and a nice story to boot. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
FOG CAT by Marilyn Helmer
Released: March 1, 1999

An evocative tale about a cat that appears and vanishes into the seaside fog, depending on the season. Every day when Hannah accompanies her grandfather to the seaside, she tries to tame the wild gray kitty they see, which she calls Fog Cat. Gradually she draws the feral cat closer, and with tidbits of fish and the lure of a warm hearth, she wins its trust. All through the winter, Fog Cat is Hannah's pet, but come spring it disappears again, leaving behind a kitten for Hannah to raise. Helmer's story is moving, but never cloying; the watercolor greens and blues of Mombourquette's palette wash the beaches with mist. (Picture book. 5-8) Read full book review >