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by Nancy Tillman & illustrated by Nancy Tillman

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: May 24th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-36840-1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

A well-intended morality tale. “In the wee little village of / Sweet Apple Green, / in the tiniest cottage you’ve ever seen, / lives a cat causing trouble, / within and without… / a cat named Tumford… / Tumford Stoutt.” He lives with Georgy and Violet, who have nicknamed him Tummy. Whenever Tumford gets in trouble, he refuses to say he’s sorry and hides instead. Vi and Georgy hope to break him of this habit, so they make him promise that he will apologize if he makes a mess. In return, they’ll take him to the fair. Of course, a mess occurs; though he hides at first, Tumford decides to please his human parents and apologize. In the painted photocollage illustrations, Tillman’s Tumford, an obvious child stand-in, wears a fixed yellow stare readers will have a hard time warming up to. Fans of her at-times-cloying previous efforts will likely not mind this precious tale and its didacticism. Even they may have trouble with the uneven scansion and occasionally awkward rhymes in this fable that seems to counsel apologizing to please others and make yourself feel good rather than because you mean it. Stick with the genuinely kid-friendly likes of Samantha Berger’s Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry (2009). (Picture book. 3-6)