cover image The Cookie-Store Cat

The Cookie-Store Cat

Cynthia Rylant. Scholastic, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-590-54329-3

A foundling cat lives a charmed life in this companion to The Bookshop Dog. After morning kisses from the cookie bakers, the plump, ginger-colored cat visits the neighborhood shopowners and keeps the regulars company. Even better, he basks in attention from the after-school crowd: ""The cookie-store cat rubs his nose with theirs, and bats at their pencils, and licks drops of milk from their fingers."" Rylant's thickly painted figures and furniture (even the text) have a fittingly doughy look, and the buildings could be made of gingerbread. She sprinkles the spreads with hearts, spirals and cookie shapes and indulgently enumerates the compliments showered on the cat, as the bakers tell him ""he is prettier than marzipan. They brag that he is a gumdrop gem."" The bakery itself is the hub of a tightly knit community: at day's end, the chefs take the leftovers to ""the Children's Home,"" while Kitty keeps watch over the shop until their return at daybreak. A cat-lover's confection. Ages 3-up. (May)