cover image METRO CAT


Marsha Diane Arnold, METRO CATMarsha Diane Arnold<. , $9.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-307-10213-3

This value-priced book delivers a subtle message about the importance of making the best of a reversal of fortune—and of assessing what defines good fortune. Sophie, the "fanciest cat in Paris" and the cover model for Fancy Cat magazine, finds her life turned upside down when she and her silk-lined carrying case sail out of her limousine one morning and down the subway stairs. Darting between the legs of commuters, she finds sustenance in bits of baguette and croissant dropped on the train platform. Later Sophie ascends to street level, where she pairs up with a kind, elderly street musician, by dancing with gusto to the strains of his fiddle. She leads him down to the Metro station, where the duo wows the crowd. The spectators enthusiastically fill the fellow's coffers, and the two become fast friends. Rendered in watercolor, acrylic and colored pencil, Davis's (Music Over Manhattan) zippy, stylized art pays droll attention to detail: carved wooden mice top bedposts and fish adorn the footboard of Sophie's elegant wooden bed; and a dazzling array of funky footwear is viewed from the newly self-sufficient cat's perspective in the Metro. With art and narrative serving up more than a soupçon of humor, this is a winning choice for a read-aloud. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)