Kirkus Reviews QR Code
DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT by Margaret Hodges

DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT

By Margaret Hodges (Adaptor) , Mélisande Potter (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: May 15th, 2006
ISBN: 0-8234-1987-8
Publisher: Holiday House

The legendary Lord Mayor of London’s story is here resurrected for a picture-book audience, the straightforward retelling receiving dramatic treatment. Dick Whittington is a resolute boy, alone in the world but determined to make something of himself, even to the point of giving up his beloved cat when it is his only thing to offer in trade when his master’s ship sails for Barbary. Hodges makes the most of the classic underdog-against-bully relationship Dick endures with his master’s cook, and when he shares his eventual riches with her, readers will cheer his good-heartedness. Equally well-established is the basis for Dick’s good deeds as Lord Mayor, his direct observations of London’s squalor as a boy leading him to ameliorate it as a man. The bells of Bow Church provide aural punctuation to the story, complementing Potter’s stylized ink-and-gouache illustrations, which present a series of tableaux, in the manner of a theatrical pageant. Dick wears his emotions on his sleeve, his despair at losing his cat writ just as large as his satisfaction at his ultimate success. An author’s note rounds out this happy foray into legend. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)