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PLEASE DON’T TEASE TOOTSIE by Margaret Chamberlain Kirkus Star


by Margaret Chamberlain & illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain

Age Range: 3 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-525-47982-6
Publisher: Dutton

Tootsie’s angry eyebrows on the cover say it all: Don’t mess with the cat. It’s best, alliteratively or otherwise, not to “provoke Poochie,” “madden Mutley” or “disturb Dixie,” either. Bitsy, a hidden bunny in an endpaper-sea of flowers, is not to be bullied, and don’t even think about tickling Trixie the newt. This playful primer of pet protocol, first published in the UK, also suggests how to treat animals right—with a pat, some pampering and, in a favorite puppy couplet, “Mutley’s here for you to dote on. / Will you put his new blue coat on?” (The dog’s coat is cleverly foreshadowed as a gift-wrapped present in the “madden Mutley” scene.) The charming, expressive illustrations, saturated in colors from raspberry to pistachio, are both hilarious and sweet; on each spread, simple black lines capture a child either tormenting or coddling a pet. Love and kindness toward myriad animal friends crescendo to the grand finale: “We will stroke you, never poke you. / We love you, TOOTSIE CAT!” Eyebrows resume contented position. (Picture book. 3 & up)