THE WHITE CAT by Leonard B.--Adapt. & Illus. Lubin


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A king who fears that his three sons might want to rule before he is dead sends them off on a series of frivolous quests, promising to turn over the kingdom to whichever prince brings back the tiniest dog, the finest muslin, and at last the most beautiful bride. And the White Cat who entertains the youngest so lavishly, sending him back with the winning entries for the first two contests, becomes herself the prize in the third, when she commands the prince to slice off her head: ""The White Cat was gone without a trace, a beautiful princess stood in her place!"" This is certainly among the more sophisticated--or, as the publishers note, ""one of the most elegant""--of the old French tales; and Lubin's occasional rhymed couplets deliberately underline its artificiality--but to the point of freezing the story. And the mannered illustrations, in an effete, imitative Early Picture Book style, clearly sacrifice all considerations of action and character for the sumptuous pastel sets and costumes. (Alas, these are not even attractive as design, despite the evident influence of Walter Crane.) Typical of the whole production is Lubin's cloyingly overstuffed, overdressed, transformed princess; really, she looked better as a cat.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1978
Publisher: Little, Brown