cover image Whiffle Squeek

Whiffle Squeek

Caron Lee Cohen. Dodd Mead, $13.95 (39pp) ISBN 978-0-396-08999-5

This epic poem about a cat who travels by ""kibitka'' boat begins with the lines ``There was a cat sailed the briny deep,/ Briny deep, briny deep;/ There was a cat sailed the briny deep,/ And his name was Whiffle Squeek.'' He sleeps beneath a ``hugeous moon,'' catches herring with a ``worm-bait'' trap, wears a hat of octopus arms, a coat of misfit fish, pants of sea-green weeds and boots of ``jellyfish squish.'' Then Whiffle Squeek sails into a sea of troubles when a sea monster called Gazook Gaboot begins to consume the feline's world. But Whiffle Squeek swims clean away, and readers are left with the picture of a dozing cat in a nest of rope. Rand's paintings evoke this journey by merging a full moon with a tempestuous sea, creating Whiffle Squeek's fantastic outfit and smoothing the way for Cohen's lyrical text. A pulsating rhythm and lilting phrases will entreat readers to chant along with Whiffle Squeek. Ages 3-7. (October)