Wednesday, February 13, 2019

How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps - a review

How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps

by Nicola Winstanley
Illustrations by John Martz
Tundra, 2019

The “five easy steps” in the book’s title are more difficult than they sound when the cat refuses to cooperate! The title page shows a dark-skinned girl with pink hair striding purposefully with a limp white cat under her arm. All signs point to a successful bath experience until,
Fill the tub with warm water. 
The girl fills the tub with too much warm water, prompting a new step one,
Put a little warm water in the bath. 
As “step one,” changes with the circumstances, Mr. Flea, escapes. After a lengthy (and messy) search throughout the house, step one becomes,
Have some milk and cookies. 
The steps change amusingly as the cat wreaks havoc in the house, the water cools to an unacceptable temperature, and the process continues through a multitude of steps before resolving in a way that pleases as least one of the two! Simple ink drawings are digitally colored with a limited palette. The cat’s only coloring is a round pink nose that perfectly matches the girl’s hair buns. The same pink boldly lists the ever-increasing steps required to “give your cat a bath.” Pages are a soft beige with white comic book style margins. The text is witty and droll instruction,
Chase your cat down the stairs! 
The girl’s comments appear in white word bubbles above her head,
 “I thought you said there were only five steps!” 
The girl and Mr. Flea burst with action and expression. The result is a hilarious confirmation of the well-known fact that cats do whatever they please. How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps is sure to be a favorite for small group sharing, cat families, and children who appreciate nuanced hilarity.

Peek inside How to Give Your Cat a Bath.

My copy of How to Give Your Cat a Bath was provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Fox the Tiger - a review

Fox the Tiger
By Corey R. Tabor
Harper Collins, 2018

Below is my review of Fox the Tiger as it appeared in School Library Journal.

PreS-Gr 1--Fox yearns to be a tiger. "Tigers are big. Tigers are fast ... Tigers are the best." Fox and his friends, Turtle and Rabbit, spend the day pretending until a rainstorm washes away their disguises. Tabor uses pencil, watercolor, and crayon in a bright, but earthy palette. Most pages have a single illustration which provides context for one or two sentences. After Fox paints himself to look like a tiger, he admires his new stripes in a full-length mirror, can of paint nearby: "There. Now I am a tiger," says Tiger." The three friends have simple, but expressive cartoon features that add emotion to the story. Limited background details, creamy white pages, and an uncomplicated font are a perfect combination for an emerging reader. A humorous ending provides a positive message of self-acceptance that would have more power if Fox's epiphany came from within, rather than from the affirmation of others. VERDICT This is Fox's first appearance in an easy reader and it will surely be popular with children who enjoyed him in picture book format.

Read a sample of Fox the Tiger here. 

School Library Journal. Aug2018, p63.
Copyright © 2018 School Library Journal, the property of Media Source, Inc.  Reprinted here with permission.

My copy of Fox the Tiger was provided by School Library Journal.

Beneath the Waves - a review

As we read disturbing news accounts of dying manatees , environmental disasters caused by toxic waste, and ocean pollution on the scale of ...