cover image Pretend You're a Cat

Pretend You're a Cat

Jean Marzollo. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0773-3

An invitation to action-filled role playing, this clever concept book consists of a series of 13 small poems that ask youngsters to pretend they are animals. ``Are you pink / As a bud? / Can you lie / In the mud? / Can you root? / Can you dig? / Can you snort / Like a pig? / What else can you do like a pig?'' Each double-page spread features an animal or child imitating the actions of the other. Pinkney ( The Talking Eggs ; The Patchwork Quilt ) pictures a boy in mime makeup with black spots who looks as bemused as the spotted cows beside him. Three children purse their lips and wiggle finny fingers like golden aquarium fish. A laughing girl stands on a flowered path in translucent wings and striped stockings, pretending to be a bee. The rhymed verses are vivid and straightforward, and Pinkney's inventive watercolor and pencil drawings are as engaging as the characters and animals he portrays. Ages 4-8. (May)