cover image  Chester's Back!

Chester's Back!

Melanie Watt, . . Kids Can, $18.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-55453-287-2

In this mischievous follow-up to her comical metafiction, Chester , Watt—who is both character and author—thinks she's hit on a way to keep her cat's huge ego in check: make him the star of his very own fairy tale. But as Chester once again makes clear, scrawling in red marker over almost every page (only the endpapers are left unscathed), he's not going to be easily placated—or dismissed. Being a picture book star has gone to his already swollen head: “Dear admirers,” he begins, “Due to an overwhelming amount of fan mail, I, Chester, am back....” Colorful envelopes below this message are addressed to Chester from Shakespeare (“Your #1 Fan”), Einstein and Picasso; a “typed” note from “M.W.” next to an author photo reads, “Please forgive Chester. He's forgotten to mention that he wrote all those fan letters himself.” A tiny mouse (Chester labels him his butler) provides running commentary, sometimes through gestures only. Readers will be dazzled by the cat's rampant self-regard (he claims to have invented the wheel) and tickled by his ongoing battle of wits with his owner/creator. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)