cover image Grandma's Cat

Grandma's Cat

Helen Ketteman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-73094-2

A girl's attempts to befriend her grandmother's ""round and fat"" cat are at the sweet center of this brief but witty look at feline behavior. ""He hides./ I seek"" begins the adventure as the girl's overzealous overtures provoke some serious cat attitude and even a scratch on the nose. When Grandma offers sage but simple advice, ""just be very gentle,"" things soon turn downright snuggly: ""I sit./ I clap./ He tries my lap."" Ketteman (Not Yet, Yvette) delivers a full roller coaster of emotion with an economy of words. Her rhythmic, rhyming (mostly) couplets speak to every child who has tried desperately to express fondness for a pet. Winborn's (Digby & Kate) sprightly ink-and-watercolor illustrations depict an equally compelling visual story line, expanding on the spare text by showing the often hilarious actions of both cat and kid. The artwork also adds another important dimension: Grandma, gardening in her green overalls, takes care that her plucky young charge is never in too much danger. Ages 4-7. (Apr.)