IT’S A SECRET! by John Burningham


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 6
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Do cats sleep all day because they go somewhere at night? Young Marie Elaine wonders—until the night she comes downstairs for a cold drink and spots her cat Malcolm dressed in party clothes. Reluctantly he allows her to tag along—if she dresses nicely and “gets small”—to a rooftop soirée that features balloons, dancing and even a banquet with the Queen of the Cats. A brief flight from some particularly raffish-looking dogs (cf. Nina Laden’s The Night I Followed the Dog, 1994) adds further excitement to the outing. Using cut-paper figures and scribbly, thinly applied colors, Burningham illustrates the venture with sketchy scenes of back alleys, urban skylines and feline conviviality. Next morning Marie Elaine’s mom finds her sacked out on the sofa, right next to the snoozing Malcolm. Bruce Ingman’s Night on the Tiles (1999) offers a similar (if busier and more urbane) revelation, but the simpler plot and bigger pictures here will reveal the secret to larger and younger audiences. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4275-4
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2009


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