cover image Atticus Caticus

Atticus Caticus

Sarah Maizes, illus. by Kara Kramer. Candlewick, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0840-5

Like all feline fans, a young cat owner can’t get enough of a self-possessed pet’s quirky ways in this book. From morning to night, the white, black-haired child sings the praises of feline Atticus in Maizes’s (Once upon a Buzzbee) thoroughly authentic combination of epithet and rhyme. In phrases rendered for maximum expressiveness in a mix of typography and handwriting, the kid begins with “Atticus. Cat-icus. Rat-a-tat-tat-ticus,” first beating time on a box drum, then marveling at how the cat “yawns with his whole head.” Atticus has mischievous yellow eyes and black ears (“like a bat-tat-ticus”), rendered in digital art by debut illustrator Kramer, that resembles collaged paper, crayon, and tempera paints—the sort of art supplies a child would have on hand to make an extended cat valentine. And Atticus proves himself a worthy object of adoration; in fact, he’s a performative puss nonpareil, zooming through the house, pouncing on a toy, and chittering to a bright red bird on the window’s other side. Could Atticus be a little more reciprocal in affection? Perhaps. But he does let the child scritch his “tummy so fat-ticus!” And in cat terms, there’s really no greater gift. Ages 3–7. [em]Author’s agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. Illustrator’s agent: Stephanie Fretwell-Hill, Red Fox Literary. (May) [/em]