Gervase Phinn, Author, Amanda Montgomery-Higham, Illustrator , illus. by Amanda Montgomery-Higham. Child's Play $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-85953-869-5

Lizzie and Dominic finally succeed in convincing (and nagging) their parents to agree to get a cat. But what kind of cat? Young Dominic seeks a feline comrade-in-arms: "A fat cat, a fierce cat,/ A ferocious, catch-a-rat-cat." Mom pictures a more gemütlichkeit scenario, featuring "a furry cat, a fluffy cat,/ A friendly, sit-on-your-lap cat." The animal shelter, meanwhile, provides little direction, since it's stuffed to the gills with a dizzying array. Of course, it's the tiniest, most pathetic cat of all that eventually wins daughter Lizzie's heart. Yet Cuddles grows into a cat to be feared (and indeed fulfills every parent's pet-related nightmare) when he becomes a havoc-wreaking full-grown king of the jungle (literally). British author and artist Phinn and Montgomery-Higham approach their domestic comedy with distinctly different tones. The illustrator's fluorescent palette, strong, swooping lines and off-kilter perspectives seem to be geared for a merrier verse than these rather mild-mannered rhymes. Still, youngsters will be buoyed along by the slapstick premise and punch line, which proves that once a family pet, always a family pet: a parting scene shows Mom, Dad, Dominic and Lizzie happily snuggling on the sofa with the kitty formerly known as Cuddles—now the lion renamed Brian. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/07/2002
Release date: 09/01/1996
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-85953-864-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-76995-2
Paperback - 18 pages - 978-0-85953-025-5
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-84643-027-5
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-84643-153-1
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