TOOTS THE CAT by Karla Kuskin


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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This love letter to the poet’s cat celebrates with rueful affection the many different joys and annoyances of being owned by a pet. The small, intimate series of poems, marked by Kuskin’s signature wordplay, introduces readers to Toots, a stray who firmly adopts her family, with her many character quirks, some prototypically feline (“Did you ever spend an hour and forty-eight minutes / looking for a piece of paper / only to realize that / the piece of paper / you have been looking for / for an hour and forty-eight minutes / is underneath the cat?”), some entirely individual (she naps in the vines, “Wisterious”). Bechtold’s illustrations display their usual fluid humor, getting at the heart of the cat, in dignity (waving her magnificent tail in stately progress) and ridiculousness (yearningly clinging to a screen door). If some of the poems seem to celebrate any cat rather than the titular Toots, the collection nevertheless stands as an entirely sweet rumination on the joys of pet ownership and as such will find many happy and simpatico child readers. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8050-6841-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2005


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