RITA AND WHATSIT by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod


Age Range: 3 - 5
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Rita is a petulant little girl wearing a flowered red dress for her birthday celebration. Whatsit is a shy, white dog with a red patch over one eye. He arrives as one of Rita’s birthday presents, the only present she cares for in her pile of gifts. The simple plot revolves around Rita’s getting used to having a pet and trying out various silly names for her pooch. This story, which was originally published in France, reveals its Gallic origins with humor that is droll and understated and a plot that is amusing but not overly hilarious. Rita has both flair and attitude, and Whatsit has charming manners and a certain savoir-faire that indicates he may bring a civilizing influence to bear on his young owner. Tallec’s cartoon-style line drawings are spiced with dashes of bright red and stand out against plain white backgrounds, and he indicates Rita’s moods through her expressive eyebrows or shy smile. A companion volume, Rita and Whatsit at the Beach (ISBN: 978-0-8118-6551-7) provides a further look at this charmingly understated duo. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8118-6550-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Chronicle
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2009


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