Square Cat

Elizabeth Schoonmaker, S&S/Aladdin, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0619-3
Eula is square in the literal sense—she's drawn as a box with cat features. Her round, bubbly friends Patsy and Maude work hard to help Eula feel better about her shape. They try thinking round thoughts, but singing "Oooooooooooo..." while skipping in circles and eating doughnuts only emphasizes Eula's essential squareness. Next they dress as squares themselves, wearing boxes, tipping over when Eula does (Eula's always tipping over), and dressing Eula in flattering clothing (a checkerboard sweater and pillbox hat). Schoonmaker, in her debut, readily grasps the comic interplay of words and pictures. "Eula was invisible in a city" is accompanied by a drawing of Eula sitting in front of (and blending in with) a group of skyscrapers; "And her favorite circle skirt didn't quite fit right" shows Eula with the same aggrieved expression awash in swirling red fabric. The focus is on physical appearance, with an emphasis on clothing and accessories that's most likely to appeal to the fashion conscious, yet Eula's feelings of difference make a ready metaphor for other ways in which readers might feel like the odd person out. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 256 pages - 978-1-4424-3117-1
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