cover image Whiskers & Rhymes

Whiskers & Rhymes

Arnold Lobel. Greenwillow Books, $13 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-688-03835-9

Lobel will probably have to make room for another prize on his mantel when his new book appears. It's a fat volume of original verses, illustrated in the award-winner's beguiling style. Full-color pictures place his cast, male and female felines, in the 19th century. Their attire is authentic and charming and so are their attitudes as they act out notable events. There are ""Friendly Fredrick Fuddlestone/ Could fiddle on his funny bone . . . / His furious father/would flatly forbid it,/ Which, of course,/ is why young Freddy did it,'' and more comments of a deliciously comic stripe. But Lobel can just as surely create a wistful feeling: ``Postman, postman,/ Bring my mail./ Let me serve you/ Cakes and ale./ The day was sad,/ But now it's better . . ./ A friend has written me a letter.'' (58)