cover image This and That

This and That

Julie Sykes / Author, Tanya Linch / Illustrator, Tanya Linch / Photograp

Linch makes an auspicious picture book debut in this winsome British import, as the country-morning feel of her torn-paper collages perfectly suits Sykes's gentle, springtime story. A resourceful cat accumulates various materials from a succession of barnyard animals, but leaves them-and the reader-in mystery as to her purpose. Horse loans his stable, Pig supplies straw, Sheep donates wool, even Hen gives up some feathers. Asked what the supplies are for, the cat merely purrs, ""This and that."" In the end, two new kittens, aptly named ""This"" and ""That"" by their farm friends, snuggle in the nest their mother has built them. Though employing an inexact medium, Linch conveys expression, depth and detail; soft angles offset unusually dense colors for a cheery, even-keeled presentation. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)