NEW CAT by Yangsook Choi


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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This may be the first appearance in a US picture book of tofu in a starring role, in a charming solo outing from the illustrator of Milly Lee’s Nim and the War Effort (1997). Mr. Kim assigns New Cat the job of patrolling his tofu factory, searching for mice. The problem is that New Cat isn’t allowed to go into the production room, which makes it the perfect escape route for a shrewd mouse that has taken up residence in the factory. One night, New Cat’s feline instinct gets the best of her, and she slips out of the office to track down the mouse. She discovers that the rodent has been chewing the electrical wires, which this night, let off enough sparks to start a fire. By accidentally tipping over a barrel of tofu, New Cat squelches the flames, the mouse takes off in a huff, and Mr. Kim has to rescue his pet from a drenching in soybeans. Choi’s tale is unique and refreshing in its setting and subject; in the pictures, she mixes soft colored surfaces with hard black lines and abrupt angles to vivid effect. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 8th, 1999
ISBN: 0-374-35512-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999