cover image Copy Cat CL

Copy Cat CL

John Mole. Kingfisher, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7534-5008-6

In this neon-colored version of a well-trod tale, a strange cat appears and mimics everything young Oliver does until the boy reverses the trend and copies the cat. If the Cheshire Cat ever came down from his tree, he might look a bit like Willey's (The Silver Treasure) orange-striped feline, with a mischievous grin and a twinkle in his eye. The cat starts out larger than life as he floats above Oliver's building blocks or obstructs the view of the TV screen. In the illustration accompanying the text ""When Oliver went into the bathroom to brush his teeth, the cat did too,"" the cat, whose head occupies the entire mirror (framed in toothpaste gone astray), holds toothbrush in paw, with Oliver peering around from behind. Only when Oliver turns the tables (""This just won't do! If you copy me, I'll copy you"") does the colossal cat shrink down to size. By then, even cat lovers may grow weary of the text's repetition (""When the cat jumped up onto the table, Oliver did, too""). Willey's energetic gouache paintings in blacklight purple, chartreuse and flame orange lend the book an electric flair, but can't completely compensate for Mole's (Boo to a Goose) tired, ordinary text. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)