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TOM CAT by Noah Woods


by Noah Woods & illustrated by Noah Woods

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: May 25th, 2004
ISBN: 0-375-82497-9
Publisher: Random House

A computer-generated cat interacts with parents and objects in this tale with a confused message. “Tom is not your average cat,” because he says “Moo!” and “Quack!,” builds a nest like a bird, and hops like a kangaroo. However, he also bathes in a bathtub, eats pizza, and has a father who wears a bow tie and glasses. Animals-who-are-really-children is a common convention, but it’s confusing here, because Tom’s specific cat-ness, as compared to other species, is in question. His parents “love you no matter who you are,” but by the end Tom is meowing and declaring, “I . . . am a cat!” Is the message that it’s okay for Tom to be different, or that even nonconformists will eventually fit in? Bouncily expressive Tom is winningly colored in gray, black, and magenta; other visuals are less interesting. (Picture book. 2-4)