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CUTE & CUTER by Michael Townsend

CUTE & CUTER

By Michael Townsend (Author) , Michael Townsend (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: June 11th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-375-85718-8
Publisher: Knopf

Janie Jane’s birthday presents are cute—and in competition for her attention.

When Janie Jane, maven of cute, receives the adorable puppy Sir Yips-a-lot, she is in cute heaven. The two spend all their time together until Janie Jane’s next birthday, when she opens the pink packaging to reveal an even more adorable gift: a kitten. Lady Meow-Meow captures her new owner’s heart, and the inevitable occurs: Sir Yips-a-lot feels left out and plans the demise of this feline interloper. Seeing Janie Jane’s distress, the dog repents and rushes to correct his transgression. The search and rescue of the little kitty allows the two pets to make amends and appreciate each another. Each spread is a lively mixture of comic-book elements such as speech bubbles, small and large frames, exaggerated types to show emotion and traditional narration. The design often overwhelms the story—at times readers need some relief from the garish, supersaturated blues, greens and pinks. The art style is comedic as well, with wide-mouthed grins and billiard-ball eyes the order of the day. The simplistic style will be easy for young readers to imitate if they want to continue the story on their own. Families with a new baby might find this helpful for older children exploring their own feelings of jealousy. Others may find Townsend’s delivery is just too darn effective.

Cute overload.  (Picture book. 4-7)