cover image That Cat Can't Stay

That Cat Can't Stay

Thad Krasnesky, , illus. by David Parkins. . Flashlight, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-9799746-5-6

In this light comedy, the creators of I Always, ALWAYS Get My Way again spotlight family dynamics. Energetic rhymed couplets relay how Mom and kids repeatedly bring home stray cats, driving Dad crazy. With each new arrival, he launches into a chorus of reasons why he doesn't like cats (“They scratch my knees./ They carry fleas./ They make me sneeze./ They're always getting stuck in trees”) and decrees that the stray must go. After tactically agreeing with her husband, manipulative Mom describes what dreadful fate will befall the feline if they don't take it in, and Dad reluctantly relents, still insisting, futilely, “that cat can't stay.” Parkins's high-spirited cartoons depict animals and humans with amusingly exaggerated facial expressions, especially the exasperated father who, with his multiple tantrums and ever-present shorts and sneakers, far more resembles an overgrown toddler than a patriarch. While the verse veers into doggerel territory in its bounciness (“I see you do not want this pet/ though he might get completely wet”), the buffoonlike father's antics should prove kid-pleasing. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)