PADDIWAK AND COZY

Bartlett doesn’t allow readers not to like her artwork, with the brio and dash of her thick colors and the instant appeal of her characters’ faces. The same applies to Doherty’s trim little story, which is full of enjoyable word play. Paddiwak, a cat and “a heartthrob (quite a snob), very smart in his neat black suit,” rules his roost until the day, that “terrible day,” when Sally brings home another cat, and what a cat: “A laugh of a cat, a dumpling cat with a black bit here and a white bit there, floppy round the tummy and great big paws.” Paddiwak takes grave offense, hisses, and leaves, huffing that he will never return. The new cat explores timidly, while Paddiwak stews outside. Just when the new cat is feeling really lonely and blue, the dark and the rain suggest to Paddiwak that he end his self-imposed exile. He is sodden and rumpled as he sneaks into a favorite den and finds “something as cuddly as a cushion to lay his head on.” That’s the new cat, now called Cozy, and so is the story, where a cat can act like a fool without being condemned as one, as long as he knows when to come in out of the rain. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-531-30180-X

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

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NO MATTER WHAT

Small, a very little fox, needs some reassurance from Large in the unconditional love department. If he is grim and grumpy, will he still be loved? “ ‘Oh, Small,’ said Large, ‘grumpy or not, I’ll always love you, no matter what.’ “ So it goes, in a gentle rhyme, as Large parries any number of questions that for Small are very telling. What if he were to turn into a young bear, or squishy bug, or alligator? Would a mother want to hug and hold these fearsome animals? Yes, yes, answers Large. “But does love wear out? Does it break or bend? Can you fix it or patch it? Does it mend?” There is comfort in Gliori’s pages, but it is a result of repetition and not the imagery; this is a quick fix, not an enduring one, but it eases Small’s fears and may well do the same for children. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202061-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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WHERE IS THAT CAT?

PLB 0-7868-2399-2 Miss Perkins goes out in the snow to get her mail and brings back a stray cat. Naming it Fitz, because that is the sound it made when it sneezed, Miss Perkins tries not to get too attached to the stray, and runs an ad that reads: “Wanted: Good home for fluffy cat named Fitz.” Fitz, however, does not want to be adopted by anyone other than Miss Perkins, so he mysteriously disappears whenever someone answers the ad. Fitz finds his way into Miss Perkins’s heart by jumping up on her lap and licking the tip of her nose, sleeping at the foot of her bed to keep her feet warm, and finally chasing a mouse out of her home. With that final act, Miss Perkins finds Fitz to be a perfectly remarkable cat. Bright and finely detailed illustrations show clearly why the cat would not leave; the elderly woman’s home is as snug as they come in the detailed illustrations. Children will love this simple story of a love match forged by destiny, and aided by the occasional well-timed disappearance. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7868-0457-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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