cover image Cat & Mouse

Cat & Mouse

Ian Schoenherr, . . Greenwillow, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-136313-9

With a medley of three loosely adapted nursery rhymes as his text, Schoenherr (Pip & Squeak ) lets loose a romp worthy of Tom and Jerry. “I Love Little Kitty” introduces each burst of action and serves as the wrapup, while also hinting that Cat and Mouse are really BFFs with a healthy sense of irony. In “Hickory, Dickory, Dock,” Cat gets leveled by the mechanical bird in a cuckoo clock as Mouse escapes scot-free. The linked vignette “Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo” involves green yarn, Cat's big toe and some impressive lassoing techniques on the part of Mouse. Applying ink over acrylics, Schoenherr's technique is painstaking and exquisite—the cat's fur looks sumptuous; the cuckoo clock has the sculptural intensity of a baroque cathedral. Scale works as the images' comic foil: paring background and props to a bare minimum, Schoenherr lets the huge, saucer-eyed cat spill and sprawl across otherwise white pages, while the pink-eared mouse bops around with the grace of an Olympic gymnast. Ages 2–4. (Sept.)