cover image The Little Cat and the Greedy Old Woman

The Little Cat and the Greedy Old Woman

Joan Rankin. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50611-6

Unceremoniously dumped out into the rain and denied even a ""teeny tiny taste"" of the special dinner his mistress has spent all day cooking for herself, a winsome puss takes his revenge when rage swells him to the size of a tiger. Crashing the party of one, he devours the meal and teaches the greedy cook a thing or two about sharing. In the end, post-prandial shrinkage occurs, and woman and cat reach an understanding. Rankin, a South African author making her U.S. debut, moderates her tone between tart and tender; her agreeably quirky sense of humor at times recalls the work of Margaret Mahy. The meltingly soft, slightly blurred watercolors are arrayed in sherbet hues that make the judicious use of stronger colors-the scarlet of the cook's angry cheeks, the vibrant orange stripes of the little cat-all the more effective. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)