This appealing orange kitty needs a break from his family.
Stretchy McHandsome lives in a big cardboard box with his eight brothers and sisters. “Now Stretchy was different / in more ways than one. / He was streeeeetchy / and handsome, / a soft bundle of fun. // …One eye was blue, / the other was green, and around his dear neck / was a stinky sardine.” It’s hard being the baby in such a huge litter, so Stretchy decides he needs a vacation. After a quick bath, he sets out for town, ending up in a bookstore window. There, he’s spotted by Beanie McBright, a very special girl: “She had unusual looks, / wore the ears of a kitten, / and round her neck / hung a wild woolly mitten.” The two hit it off and have a great day, but the McHandsome clan misses their little brother and follows the clues he left all over town to find him. Beanie adopts the whole lot…and thankfully has eight siblings to help with the care. Schachner’s new puss protagonist is every bit as bouncy as Skippyjon Jones, as is her verse, which here does not resort to stereotyped dialect for effect. In the bright, busy cartoon illustrations, Beanie’s a white girl whose orange mop matches Stretchy’s coat; her siblings are racially diverse, and one uses a wheelchair.
Sure to elicit purrs from kitty-loving readers. (Picture book. 2-8)