The 74-year-old animated-comedy duo goes meta!
In one of four picture books featuring Hanna-Barbera creations Tom cat and Jerry mouse, Tom is fed up with the way Jerry messes up his book. He asks readers to help him catch Jerry, prompting readers to turn the page quickly or slowly, to turn the light on or to shake the book. Depending on the situation, his level of urgency varies (those mousetraps he trips have some bearing on this). Realizing that if Jerry leaves the book, he will make a terrible mess in the outside world, Tom decides that the solution is to shut the book quickly! Bird constructs a flexible framework for the licensed characters to inhabit. Any antagonistic duo could speak the lines in the “story”—there’s nothing here that makes the book a uniquely Tom and Jerry tale despite Spike the dog’s guest appearance. The illustrations are closer to the 1970s and ’80s cartoons than the characters’ Academy Award–winning roots. Whether they are familiar or not with these characters, youngsters will enjoy a storytime or lap sit with this if it is read just right.
A good use of well-worn characters. (Picture book. 3-6)