cover image Mrs Lovewright&purrles

Mrs Lovewright&purrles

Lore Segal, Paul Zelinsky. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $14 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-394-86817-2

No one will disagree with the statement from Maurice Sendak, who sees the collaboration of author and illustrator as ""the essence of an original picture book.'' Segal adds to her laurels as a novelist, translator and writer of prized children's books with this lark, and so does Zelinsky. His full-color, hilarious pictures are as splendid as his award-winners in Hansel and Gretel et al. The story of chilly, unsociable Mrs. Lovewright starts tamely when she asks Dylan, who delivers her groceries, to find a cat, little and cute, to purr on her lap. Dylan delivers, all right, and the kitten is little and cute but he was born with the proud, intransigent character of his kind. He will not purr. He will not curl up cozily on Mrs. Lovewright's lap. The story becomes funnier and more surprising as Purrless and his adversary get into furious battles for supremacy, with Dylan as the interested onlooker, until the wistfully comic resolution. (48)