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WHERE IS LITTLE REYNARD? by Joyce Carol Oates

WHERE IS LITTLE REYNARD?

By Joyce Carol Oates (Author) , Mark Graham (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-029559-7
Publisher: HarperCollins

Proving that facility with words does not necessarily stretch to meet all audiences, master novelist Oates proffers a clunky, sentimental tale of a shy little kitten who finds bravery. Little Reynard is the smallest and orangest of Momma’s kittens and becomes Lily’s favorite. His more forceful brothers and sisters brush him aside until one night when he plays with some foxes, a peculiarly transformative experience. Punctuated by no fewer than 17 exclamation points, the text is full of breathless authorial intrusions that seem more suited to children’s books of the early half of the last century: “They had missed him so!” Graham’s lavish, full-bleed illustrations are every bit as sentimental as the text, in a perfect and highly unfortunate match of pictures and words. It is nothing short of amazing that so acute a stylist for adults and young adults can produce such a patronizing text—many readers may find themselves wishing that little Rusty and Flora Fox had behaved like proper foxes and snacked upon Little Reynard instead of playing with him. (Picture book. 4-8)