cover image Silas: The Bookstore Cat

Silas: The Bookstore Cat

Karen Trella Mather. Down East Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-89272-352-2

``There are all sorts of cats just as there are all sorts of people,'' begins this well-intentioned collaboration-just as, of course, there are all sorts of picture books. And this one, it appears, is of the insipid variety. Despite the presence of a very cat-like-and rather endearing-title character, Mather's story quickly becomes obvious and heavy-handed. Peter, a boy with a strong aversion to reading, is so thoroughly rehabilitated by an encounter with the eponoymous ``bookstore cat'' that he promises to return to the store and read to the winsome white feline. Peter's mother, meanwhile, is saddled with lines like ``Reading is a gift, but not one that can be given all at once.'' Like the text, Van Dusen's artwork, in dingy shades of browns and muddy yellows, never rises above the serviceable. Ages 7-12. (Jan.)