cover image Where Is Catkin?

Where Is Catkin?

Janet Lord, , illus. by Julie Paschkis. . Peachtree, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-56145-523-2

Sisters Lord and Paschkis (Albert the Fix-It Man ) team up again, this time for a search-and-find story about a honey-colored cat whose hunting skills are not all they might be. Skillful use of repetition (“Catkin hops... Cricket hops deep into the grass”; “Catkin leaps... Frog leaps into the pond”) and offbeat animal noises (“Kerik-kerik” for the cricket, “Garrump” for the frog) move the story forward, but it's in essence a series of observations—there's little suspense. Paschkis's bright, peasant-style illustrations bring cheery liveliness to Catkin's world; they're a bit like the art Wanda Gág might have produced had four-color printing been available to her. Stylized borders run along the top and bottom of each page, showing simple silhouettes of the animals Catkin pursues. Between the borders, Catkin chases his prey through a tapestry of curling leaves and waving grasses (readers are directed to find the animals within the vegetation, and several make repeat appearances). In the end, Catkin becomes the pursued, as his owner, Amy, seeks him out. The story will entertain very young children, and the artwork will absorb them. Ages 2–6. (Feb.)