Mischievous Cat is back (Here Comes Santa Cat, 2014, etc.), this time determined to meet the Tooth Fairy.
After losing a tooth, Cat is disappointed that he didn’t get to meet the Tooth Fairy when she left a coin under his pillow. Never at a loss for ideas, Cat concocts a plan to lure her back. Underwood and Rueda continue their playful repartee between the oh-so-patient narrator and silent Cat, bouncing the narrator’s understated questions off of Cat’s humorous expressions and handheld signs. Cat finds that it’s harder to trick a fairy than he expected. Two packages arrive with a note that suggests, “if you help me with a few deliveries, maybe we can meet. Love, Tooth Fairy.” But: “P.S. You’ll have some help.” When Mouse shows up as Cat’s assistant, Underwood plays the two off each other to great effect. Both animals are full of not-quite-helpful suggestions (“Cat! Mouse can climb into the hole perfectly well without your, uh, help”), and Rueda’s ink-and–colored-pencil illustrations heighten the humor with spot-on expressions and sight gags. Generous white space, expert timing, and minimalist illustrations focus attention on the plentiful, playful banter.
Clever fun continues in this delightful series. (Picture book. 4-7)
A roundup of books publishing between September 2014 and February 2015
Ahí estabas (You Were There) by Claudia Rueda Océano Travesía ISBN 978-607-735-418-5 Whenever one feels lonely, sad or afraid, there is always a faithful and noble companion to help. A new book by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Claudia Rueda.
What a year it’s been for picture books. Sometimes it felt as though every single box I opened presented me with a newly inventive variation on this oh-so-important art form. Since most children encounter both fine art and letters for the first time in picture books, it’s heartening to see how robust this slice of the industry is.
The metafictive picture book is still going strong, with such format-bending outings as Deborah Underwood and Claudia Rueda’s Here Comes the Easter Cat, Kelly Bingham and Paul O. Zelinsky’s Circle, Square, Moose, and Jason Chin’s Gravity.These and others offer a satisfyingly mind-bending experience that attracts attention to the book as artifact as well as deliverer of story or information.