FRANCIS THE SCAREDY CAT by Ed Boxall

FRANCIS THE SCAREDY CAT

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The bolstering power of love gives a timid young cat the courage to confront his own personal bugbears. Francis, a genial marmalade cat, harbors a worrisome secret that he keeps from everyone, including his devoted owner Ben. Dark, stormy nights are Francis’s purgatory. Most frightening of all is the elusive monster Francis frequently hears in the garden tree. When his beloved Ben goes out one night, Francis is left alone to deal with the impending storm and creepy sounds of the whispery monster. However, the notion that perhaps Ben is in the clutches of the creature galvanizes Francis into action. Out into the storm and up the tree he goes, only to come face to face with his fear, which turns out to be a wild but friendly cat who helps the terrified feline back down the tree into the safety of Ben’s arms. Talented newcomer Boxall takes a familiar childhood phobia, a fear of the dark, and allows preschoolers to explore their anxieties through the safe distance of Francis’s experiences. His acrylic-and-mixed-media, full-bleed illustrations neatly express the emotional intensity of the tale. Bright sunny hues reflecting Francis’s amiable nature are gradually replaced with inky darkness as his trepidation increases, while the ultimate revelation of the “monster’s” friendliness heralds a lightening of the night, in the form of sparkling stars. A perfect tale to assuage worries about things that go bump in the night. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7636-1767-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2002




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