HOME AT LAST: A Young Cat's Tale by Patricia Lauber

HOME AT LAST: A Young Cat's Tale

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A petite (6fl x 7fl), dainty volume with a simple situation and an overcomplicated plot--that doesn't, finally, get anywhere. Two kittens, narrator Small and brother Biggers (he is), live contentedly in a library (run--for no apparent reason--by a horse and a hen) until Biggers gets to reading about young heroes who ""set out into the world, face great danger, overcome hardship, get a job, climb the ladder of success, and find [a] home."" Brushing aside Small's protestations that they already have a home (it doesn't have an ""icebox,"" ""soft chairs,"" etc.), he decides that they should do likewise. The two get a job ""taking care of"" the Towser's mice while they're away; interpret ""taking care"" to mean coddling; and entertain the mice (to the latter's vast amusement) until a Tom cat comes along and dispatches them. Dismayed, Biggers and Small look for more mice; stow a rat in the Towsers' icebox; run away when they hear the Towsers making loud noises (Mr. T., they subsequently learn, was delightedly shaking the rat), and hustle back to the library--where they're told that ""A home doesn't have to be a house. A home is where everybody loves you."" The book has its incidental charms (the cats' names, for one), but it's not only intricately structured, some of its assumptions are plain dumb and its ending is soppy. The content, the form, and the format never quite get together--for any age level.

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 1981
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan