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MR. PUTTER & TABBY FEED THE FISH by Cynthia Rylant Kirkus Star


by Cynthia Rylant & illustrated by Arthur Howard

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-202408-5
Publisher: Harcourt

This is one of the very best of Rylant's Putter-Tabby dyad, as always affectionately depicted by the master of droll illustration. Mr. Putter decides to buy some fish to have at home. They remind him of his childhood. Tabby likes fish too. They "made her whiskers tingle and her tail twitch." And how: "Mr. Putter and Tabby drove their fish home. Tabby nearly twitched herself out of the car." Once they are home and the fish safely in their bowl, Tabby's whiskers chill and her tail quietens, but her paw swings into action. "Bat. Bat. Bat. Bat." It goes against the glass bowl. She can't control herself. By the time evening rolls around, Tabby is so frazzled it looks like she will have to enter a treatment program. So Mr. Putter drapes a pillowcase over the fishbowl. In the morning Tabby is found under the pillowcase and hard at batting the bowl. Mr. Putter is reduced to putting a metal pail over the bowl. A few days of that sad arrangement and they decide to give the fish to their neighbor Mrs. Teaberry. Like great farce, Rylant has chosen every word impeccably and Howard has drawn Tabby to a T, tingling whiskers, wayward paw, and all. Readers young and old will laugh themselves silly. (Easy reader. 4-9)