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TOP CAT by Lois Ehlert


by & illustrated by

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-15-201739-9
Publisher: Harcourt

An irresistible offering from Ehlert (Hands, 1997, etc.) that portrays a cat who is king of the hill, in glorious collage illustrations. A terse, rhythmic text describes the situation: “I’m top cat. Pet me, I’ll purr. I guard this place in my coat of fur.” He has a dull existence, but boredom fades when a mysterious box arrives, stamped “Humane Society.” “Who let you in? One cat’s enough. I don’t want to share my stuff.” A striped kitten joins the household, too cute for the top cat’s taste; nevertheless, he stops harassing the kitten and enlists it in an initiation to mischief. Some of the papers chosen and the way they are painted achieve uncanny approximations of the coloring and textures of cats; that Ehlert so expertly portrays line and expression in this medium only confirms her talent. The rollicking prose demands swift turns of the page, but the pages themselves offer plenty to linger over. (Picture book. 3-8)