cover image Bits & Pieces

Bits & Pieces

Judy Schachner. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3788-4

Life goes on: the tiny kitten that materialized in Schachner’s The Grannyman is now full grown—and something of an “odd duck,” as the author puts it. Tink isn’t the smartest cat (“maybe it was because his brain was the size of a frozen pea”), but he is beloved by his family, even when he tries to eat pool noodles, rubber bands, “and a slinky,” as a long list explains. This is clearly a very personal book for Schachner (the back flap displays a picture of her family’s cat of 20 years, Tink, with a slinky in his mouth), and the anecdotes feel ripped from oft-repeated family pet stories, whether it’s Tink licking a stick of butter left out or the way his body takes on certain slinkylike dimensions when he tries to sneak outdoors. Schachner’s warm prose and mixed-media artwork overflow with affection for both Tink and the SkippyJon-lookalike “little friend” who joins the family. But while cat-lovers (especially adult ones) will nod with recognition and appreciation, there’s very little in this meandering, episodic story to entice a broader readership. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)