cover image I Want a Cat

I Want a Cat

Tony Ross. Farrar Straus Giroux, $13 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-374-33621-9

Jessy's parents refuse to get her a cat, so she hits on a bright idea: she'll make herself a cat suit, wear it everywhere, and raise hell (as only a cat could) until her request is granted. `` `I'm going to be the cat in this house,' she purred.'' Accordingly, Jessy goes to school in her cat suit (and is chased by a dog); she perches on top of the blackboard in class, and cannot be coaxed down (not even by a saucer of milk); at a restaurant, she climbs under the table to dine on her fish; and is finally reduced to pleading her case by howling late at night in the backyard. Neighbors and parents object, and a kitten is quickly provided, but Jessy's taste of success spurs her on to demand a dog. The strength of the story lies in Ross's color illustrations, full of wind, light, shadow, movement and whimsy. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)