Pizzoli’s young cat, Templeton, gets what he wishes for, with predictable results.
Templeton is the eldest kitten in the house, so he is the beneficiary of all the usual stuff: demanding parents—“Scrub harder, Templeton!” “Clean up this mess!”—and a trio of brothers who take his favorite toys. He comes across an advertisement in a comic book for a magic diamond that grants wishes. “So he did something bad”—robbing a brother’s piggy bank—“and got something good in return.” That’s some rough philosophical ground, though it is also the most original—if disturbing—turf turned in this otherwise foreseeable tale. Templeton wishes his family gone; they disappear; he revels: playing, singing, lounging, making a mess of the house and himself. No more demands, no more sharing. Then things get boring, scary at night, stinky, and lonely. He wishes his family back, and back they come, same as they ever were, which is fine with Templeton: same demands, same sharing. Pizzoli brings extremely simple language to the task, and so too for the artwork, though here the complementary colors set eyeballs vibrating, and Templeton radiates a hepcat appeal. But the piggy-bank heist never gets revisited, ill wishes don’t get explored, and no twist gives the old story some fresh air.
Moderately inspired but tired all the same. (Picture book. 3-5)