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CAT TALE by Michael Hall Kirkus Star

CAT TALE

By Michael Hall (Author) , Michael Hall (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-191516-1
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

Hall cleverly plays with homophones in this diverting word adventure.

Three curious cats, propelled by their imaginations, bring books to life as they traverse spacious, white spreads. Together they “flee a steer,” “steer a plane,” “plane a board” and “board a train.” Each sentence or scenario offers hints of what’s to come. Discerning compositions and a rhyming text further drive the momentum until, alas! The words’ many meanings confound these friendly felines. Humorous permutations ensue as the kitties try to untangle their tales. After they successfully "shoo a truly naughty gnu," (it's munching shoes—truly naughty indeed!), things go sadly awry. "They use their paws to rock a squashberry! Rock a squashberry?" Once back on track, they befriend a bear, sail a whale and ultimately find comfort and contentment in words. Digitally collaged illustrations with appealing characters pop from the page. The artwork, simple in its appearance yet interwoven with the text with utmost sophistication, playfully offers the easiest and funniest lesson on homophones possible, inviting repeat readings and likely inspiring continuing silliness.

Smart and accessible, charming and witty, this is one for educators and adventurers alike. (Picture book. 3-5)