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A GIRL, A BOY, AND A MONSTER CAT by Gail Gauthier

A GIRL, A BOY, AND A MONSTER CAT

By Gail Gauthier (Author) , Joe Cepeda (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: June 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-399-24689-0
Publisher: Putnam

Brandon hates Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons because his mom sends him to Hannah’s house after school. Instead of watching TV, which Brandon wants to do, bossy Hannah invents all kinds of games—spy, cave explorer, pirates—with Brandon reluctantly in tow. Hannah’s big, fat, orange, smelly cat, Buttercup, is often their “monster” target, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, her menacing pet dog becomes a real enemy. Bucky, a Chihuahua, looks like a cartoon rat with a collar, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for with a ferocious temperament. He’s a perfect foil for Hannah’s imaginative scenarios with Brandon as her accomplice. Who will triumph—monster cat, pipsqueak dog, pushy girl or patsy boy? For a younger audience than Cauthier’s previous six books, her reliance on plot misses an opportunity for character development; Hannah is no Junie B. Jones or Gooney Bird. Illustrations could have helped, but Cepeda’s black-and-white sharp-edged, angular drawings add little appeal. This mildly humorous, mid-level chapter book is a quick read, but lacks oomph. (Fiction. 7-9)