PURPLE COYOTE

From France, a nonsensical story of one tricky coyote and a boy whose curiosity gets the better of him. A small boy notices an unusual coyote on the backyard hill of desert sand. This coyote is strangely purple and balances himself weathervane-like on one paw to send a distinctive howl into the air. The coyote will not reveal the origins of his coloring, or the reasons for his pose or howl. Jim pesters the creature with questions before, in a show of bravado, standing on one hand and howling. He turns purple and is thanked by the coyote, who has reverted to his desert-sand color. Jim attempts to entice a raccoon to a similar state of curiosity about his new color, but the raccoon is resoundingly not interested. Bold colors spar, at angles to one another, with the purple coyote or the boy’s red truck or cap keenly contrasted by planes of sky and sand. There’s no logic to this peculiar fantasy, except to highlight the perils of curiosity. Although the main character of the boy is never really endowed with personality, Rochette maintains the coyote’s character by painting a gleam in his eye that underscores his perpetual something-up-my-sleeve attitude. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 11, 1999

ISBN: 0-385-32664-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 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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PAULINE

Pauline (32 pp.; $16.00; Oct. 5; 0-374-35758-7) The illustrator of Kate Banks’s many books (The Bird, the Monkey, and the Snake in the Jungle, p. 62, etc,) goes solo for a tale that proves children’s suspicion that bigger isn’t always better. Pauline, a fuzzy-eared weasel, is an unlikely heroine, but her courage and dramatic talents combine to save her best friend Rabusius the elephant, trapped by hunters. The thick bold lines and lush colors of the illustrations infuse the story with an excitement and immediacy that will appeal to preschoolers. The spreads are presented from a weasel’s-eye-view are particularly captivating and reinforce Pauline’s small stature and mighty impact. (Picture book. 3-6.)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 1999

ISBN: 0-374-35758-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

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