I HAD A CAT by Mona Rabun Reeves


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A book that adds substance to the familiar form of a rhymed catalog of animals. The pigtailed narrator, first seen painting a picture of her cat, lets her imagination soar as she adds dozens of other animals in a grand mix of species (""I had a wolf, a goat, an ox,/A skunk, a yak, a fuzzy fox"") until ""There was no room left in the house."" So she takes them all in a parade to the zoo. which accepts only some of the menagerie; several more stops are needed--a farmer finds many of the animals appropriate; a boy wants the frog, the fish, the hare, and the bird; the narrator digs a hole for the mole, who is happy to be free, as she is now herself. But she's also glad still to have the cat. Downing has made the best of this cleverly rhymed, exuberant verse. Her carefully composed paintings are full of life and humor; the animals--from the silly dancing goose with a purple plume on her head to the huge blue whale with a smiling eye--are stirred together with imaginative skill. The girl--pictured as about eight years old--has some of Pippi Longstocking's vigor. An entertaining romp that would be just right when children are learning to differentiate between farm animals and zoo animals.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1989
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Bradbury