HI, CAT! by Ezra Jack Keats


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Breezy, clowning... an older Peter, a more prominent Archie, and a rather different Keats. The flat planes and figured collage have given way to impasto and deep modeling -- and when Archie faces forward after Willie's licked off his pistachio mustache and goatee and complains "No respect for old age!" you get the full funny force of his chagrin. He's been playacting "ol' gran'pa" and the other kids have been playing along; but when he and Peter start to perform they lose not only their act but their audience. The casually-greeted cat gets into -- and bursts out of -- their paper bag Mister Big Face and when "the tallest dog in the world take(s) a walk" -- i.e. Willie perched on Peter's shoulders behind a fence -- the cat stalking the fence sends Willie flying. Although -- or because -- the laugh's on the two boys, it's a great show, a visual approximation (some of it strictly visual) of the kind of high jinx Beverly Cleary might have concocted for Henry and Ribsy. And that gives pause: with so much unsaid, and what's said being so much in fun, this is a tall order for preschoolers. But if Peter has graduated to the primary grades, he's in good company -- likely "that crazy cat" last seen on Archie's doorstep will be back -- and great spirits.
Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 1970
ISBN: 0670885460
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1970


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