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NUTZ! by Virginia Frances Schwartz


by Virginia Frances Schwartz & illustrated by Christina Leist

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-896580-87-6
Publisher: Tradewind Books

A fat feline faces a depressing diet and the addition of a tail-less squirrel to his household. What’s a cat to do?

Amos, a former alley cat, knows he lives the good life. He has (or had) a boy, Tyler, who loves him, a diet previously overabundant with yummy chicken gizzards and very little responsibility. All he needs to do is to watch out for the big, bad next-door dog, Bruno, and to warn Tyler and his mom if the landlord, Stinky Feet, is on his way over to collect the overdue rent. After Bruno savages a baby squirrel, Nutz, and Tyler takes it in, the little tyke makes a noticeable change in the household. He scatters nuts everywhere, steals Amos’ toys and generally acts as a severe annoyance to a cat comfortably set in his ways. More compelling issues, such as whether Tyler and his mom can find the money for the rent and whether the landlord will discover the new pet squirrel, add a mild level of suspense to the cat’s first-person, appropriately self-focused narrative. After all, how many cats aren’t self-absorbed? Amusing, quirky pen-and-ink illustrations offer a cat’s-eye view of Amos’ life as he gradually develops a more empathetic understanding of the challenges the orphaned, disabled squirrel faces.

A sometimes-funny animal tale with an appropriately feel-good ending, sure to please feline fanciers.

(Fiction. 8-12)