A TOMCAT'S TALE

From the point of view of a cat who'd be pampered if he allowed it, an incisive look at what being a cat is like: communicating with obtuse humans; establishing territory; contriving to get out, and in; philosophically hunkering down in a new neighborhood while temporarily lost; catching mice; getting hauled off to the vet (once, after the AWOL incident, for the purpose of being neutered); making a tentative friendship with another cat. Felix tells his own story in a voice that cat-lovers are sure to find believable: unsentimental, independent, self- centered, confident. It's the voice that makes the events amusing—they don't add up to much of a plot. Best of all are the enchanting drawings. Felix and his friends are depicted in every imaginable activity, the cats' graceful (or baleful or comical) stances and expressions rendered in exquisite, loving detail. There are frequent double spreads plus lots more drawings, including tiny cats perched on, or peaking from under, the delicate page-top line. Cat-lovers' heaven; a perfect family readaloud. (Fiction. 6+)

Pub Date: April 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-525-44583-8

Page Count: 142

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1991

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With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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