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THE CATS KIDS by Kay Chorao


by Kay Chorao & illustrated by Kay Chorao

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1998
ISBN: 0-8234-1405-1
Publisher: Holiday House

This three-chapter picture book from Chorao (Little Farm by the Sea, p. 655, etc.) is a surprisingly raw, very true, depiction of sibling interaction, with its highs and lows, and all the inherent pushing and pulling. Here the children are three cats: little Sam, medium Jake, and older Martha. The first chapter follows Sam and Jake as they have a good time playing in the great snowy outdoors. The story turns on Martha’s trashing of Sam’s good intentions and his discovery that Jake was being paid to take care of him. The second chapter finds Jake and Papa at odds with one another, with Martha dishing out more spite, and raises questions of deceptive appearances, shifting landscapes, and responsibility. Bringing the book into balance is the last chapter, when Martha takes her licks. Capable as the siblings are of bugging each other, they can also be comrades when it suits them, and then revert to crossed swords. Chorao’s hallmark artwork, which hugs the text quite closely, keeps the gratifyingly complicated, emotionally rounded stories rolling along. (Picture book. 4-8)