Mrs. Crump's Cat

Linda Smith, Author, David Roberts, Illustrator HarperCollins Publishers $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-028302-5
This gently and economically-told story about the friendship between a lonely woman and a stray cat will appeal to warmhearted readers, young and old. Mrs. Crump believes that cats are sneaky, finicky, and troublesome. When a wet feline slips into her house like a furry ball of yellow sun, Mrs. Crump tells it plainly, ""I have no use for a cat."" She intends to send the animal on its way, but ""it curls itself around Mrs. Crump's ankles like a soft velvet ribbon and mews hungrily."" Roberts's (Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story) watercolor palette of blue and gray grows brighter as the cat slowly captivates Mrs. Crump, and the artist adeptly depicts the changing expressions on the faces of the characters. When the pinched, lonely Mrs. Crump first feels the cat's touch, she seems startled, if still disapproving, but by the time she goes out to buy cream, navigating a rainy sea of umbrellas, she wears a very slight smile on her face. The late Smith (Mrs. Biddlebox) fills the story with telling details as Mrs. Crump begins making excuses for why she simply can't get rid of the cat. The heroine decides not to post a notice about the ""exquisite golden cat"" she's found, and advertises instead for ""one sneaky finicky troublesome wet yellow cat with fleas,"" thus ensuring that the story will end ever so happily with the cat in her lap and Mrs. Crump ""wondering how she ever got along without it."" Ages 4-8.
Reviewed on: 05/01/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-06-443551-2
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