I AM THE CAT

PLB 0-688-13154-9 All aspects of the personality of a cat, no matter how maligned, are seen through a set of witty poems and pictures full of visual puns. Egyptian hieroglyphs on the endpapers hint at the cat’s timelessness, followed by the collection itself, introduced with a close-up of a cat’s face and one paw swiping through a mousehole at the resident, hilariously backed into a corner. For every lyrical haiku setting forth a single attribute of cats, a longer poem appears to contradict—even demolish—it. After a lovely scene of a cat lapping at the reflection of a moon in a puddle comes a Genesis-like telling of the cat’s fall from grace because it sipped from the moon. A haiku on the one feather found on a cat’s whiskers gives way to a poem on stalking mice, right to the crushing last line, “Mine!” In “Sophie, Who Taunted the Dogs,” the sublime Sophie meets with a very grisly end after teasing neighborhood dogs. If cats are cuddly, queenly, sneaky, devilish, and aloof, they are captured here, attribute by attribute. Children will rush to find cats, rabbits, mice, and T-rexes Buehner shows hiding in the rain puddles of a city street or the cracks of a broken headlight, posing as clouds or doubling as leaves in a field. (Picture book/poetry. 5-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-13153-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1999

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THE COOKIE-STORE CAT

There is an ineffable sweetness in Rylant’s work, which skirts the edge of sentimentality but rarely tumbles, saved by her simple artistry. This companion piece to The Bookshop Dog (1996) relates how the cookie-store cat was found, a tiny, skinny kitten, very early one day as the bakers came in to work. The cat gets morning kisses, when the bakers tell him that he is “sweeter than any cookie” and “prettier than marzipan.” Then he makes his rounds, out the screen door painted with “cherry drops and gingerbread men” to visit the fish-shop owner, the yarn lady, and the bookshop, where Martha Jane makes a cameo appearance. Back at the cookie store, the cat listens to Father Eugene, who eats his three Scotch chewies and tells about the new baby in the parish, and sits with the children and their bags of cookies. At Christmas he wears a bell and a red ribbon, and all the children get free Santa cookies. The cheerful illustrations are done in paint as thick as frosting; the flattened shapes and figures are a bit cookie-shaped themselves. A few recipes are included in this yummy, comforting book. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-54329-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

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GORILLA WALK

PLB 0-688-16510-9 This true adventure in the jungles of Uganda on the trail of the mountain gorilla will make armchair travelers shiver, and leave the squeamish grateful not to be trudging through mucky ankle-deep swamps, traversing giant fallen fig tree bridges over ravines that drop hundreds of feet into rocks and thorns, and coping with dreaded stinging safari ants. The Lewins traveled to Uganda in 1997, to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for an opportunity to view the mountain gorillas that have been habituated. Every step of the way the authors provide thumbnail sketches of plants and animals, and a detailed description of the journey. The gorillas appear in watercolor paintings that are dramatic and realistic, for a picture- book adventure not to be missed, and, with the continuing unrest in the area, perhaps not to be replicated any time soon. (map, index) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-16509-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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