An abecedary follow-up to Schoonmaker’s debut, Square Cat (2011).
The titular square cat, Eula, wearing a floppy green-and-yellow hat, is busy with shovel and seeds when a portly blue-and-pink mouse happens along. Quizzed about her actions, Eula discloses that she’s “Gardening” but that she doesn’t care for Mouse’s favorite, spinach. The sudden appearance of a porcupine (heralded by the words “Kerplunk” and “Kaboom” to fulfill the need for words beginning with K) startles the mouse but doesn’t faze the cat. Mouse’s fears are allayed by Eula’s calm explanation that the prickly animal is her friend and the discovery that the porcupine also likes spinach. Convinced to sample it, Eula still finds the leafy green stuff “Yucky” (“eXtremely” so, in fact), leading Mouse to suggest that she try a “Zucchini, perhaps?” Created in watercolor, gouache, watercolor pencils and ink, the pictures are pleasingly childlike and stand out well against the abundant white space. Unfortunately, they appear static and flat when paired with the staccato text. Letters are emphasized with red print, but varying between upper- and lowercase letters may create confusion, as will a few unusual flourishes in the typeface selected.
Not as “Ick”y as the spinach is in Eula’s estimation but far from Mouse’s opening observation of “Amazing!” (Picture book. 4-7)