cover image Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite

Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite

Stacy McAnulty, illus. by Edward Hemingway. Two Lions, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5039-4838-9

McAnulty (Beautiful) puts a high-spirited spin on kids’ fascination with favorites in a story starring Mr. Fuzzbuster, a cat determined to stake his claim as his owner’s most beloved pet. The two have been inseparable ever “since he fit in a teacup and she fit in diapers,” but the cat has competition for her attention and affection, now that a goldfish, bird, lizard, and dog have joined the household. Determined to settle matters, Mr. Fuzzbuster writes Lily a note (“Dear Lily, Who is your favorite? Please decide”), after which she tactfully reassures each animal that it is her favorite—of its species. Working in a mix of digital and traditional media, Hemingway (Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus) makes the most of a fairly scant plot, capturing the black cat’s seesawing emotions through big, blue eyes that reflect his smugness, trepidation, and elation. A closing zinger—is it possible that Lily’s “favorite” isn’t a pet at all?—suggests that Mr. Fuzzbuster’s need to be #1 remains undiminished. Ages 3–7. [em]Author’s agent: Lori Kilkelly, Rodeen Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Feb.) [/em]