CALEB AND KATE by William Steig


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Caleb the carpenter and Kate the weaver loved each other, but not every single minute"--and it's after one of their fiercest quarrels, with Kate screaming "odious insults" and Caleb storming away from the "cantankerous hoddy-doddy," that witch Yedida finds the husband sleeping in the forest and decides to test a new spell. And so begins Caleb's season as a dog, with Kate grieving for her vanished mate despite the comforts of this affectionate new pet, and with woebegone Caleb dogging her heels, emitting "only a suffering growl" when he tries to say her name. A knife stab from a pair of night robbers miraculously undoes the spell, but as for what had actually happened, "like many another thing, it remained a mystery" to the reunited couple. No reincarnation of Sylvester despite the similar transformation, this plain frontier couple is touching in its own frumpy way, and this amusing sad story is beguiling as only Steig can make it.
Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1977
ISBN: 0374410380
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1977


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