THE LITTLE CAT AND THE GREEDY OLD WOMAN

A hungry kitten meows for food and would like a small taste of the special meal the greedy old woman is preparing. When nary a crumb is offered, he tries to sneak a bite, gets caught, and is summarily chucked into the rain. A monster-sized anger swells the puss to tiger-sized proportions, whereupon he takes his hungry revenge on the old woman's fancy meal. Through a getatable text and imaginative use of typefaces, Rankin's first book pedals a couple of gentle, sensible messages: Heroism is just another word for self-confidence, and gluttons are an unsavory lot destined for comeuppance. But the real show-stealers here are the illustrations, particularly of the metamorphosing cat. With a nod to Maurice Sendak and a wonderfully controlled use of watercolor, Rankin ensures that the cat commands the page, a vital presence, from kitty to wildcat to kitty again. The timidity of the ex-greedy old woman in the last few scenes is a truly rewarding sight. There's always room on the shelf for a smart, humorous swipe at one of the grand old vices. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-689-50611-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1995

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

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