Liz Graham-Yooll, Author . Ragged Bears $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-929927-25-8

With a liturgical-like rhyming text and densely applied acrylics, Graham-Yooll (illus. of Hogsel and Gruntel) sings the praises of an utterly self-assured (and self-absorbed) tiger cat named Timothy Tib. "He stretches out beneath the trees/ and feels the gentle summer breeze./ Timothy Tib is the softest cat," writes Graham-Yooll, the verse descriptions and italicized responses reflecting the pattern of the text. A swift, incomplete pencil sketch below the words suggests the cat in a state of repose, while on the opposite page, Tib is seen lolling amid expressionistic swirls of feathery green and white foliage, his body arced in an attitude of utter bliss. In three accomplished paintings at the center of the book, Timothy Tib becomes the sovereign of the night, barely visible in the darkness as he stalks prey and rabble-rouses: "He hunts down all the mice and rats/ and caterwauls with other cats. Timothy Tib is a terrible cat." The final painting includes a partial view of the young narrator, her arms enfolding the cat who, back from his nocturnal prowl, lays claim to her lap. Readers who aren't cat people may find it hard to join Graham-Yooll as she offers up hosannas, but fans of felines will find this portrait of kitty imperiousness right on target. All ages. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/14/2001
Release date: 03/01/2001
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