Thursday, October 1, 2009

Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog; Minifred Goes to School














Two brand new 2009 picture books - one I liked, one I didn't. Let's start with the one I liked . . .

Flabby Cat and Slobby Dog by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Tony Ross.
Here's a fun story, very apropos for our times. Slobby Dog and Flabby Cat are just what their names say; slobby and flabby. They become more so by eating more and sleeping more. They try to blame the couch, yes, the couch, saying that it has shrunk and the cushions have grown. The eating, sleeping, and blaming continues until, growing so large, they don't fit in the house anymore. They think they can live with their "distant relatives", Wild Wolf and Cunning Tiger, a couple of TV characters, and go in search of them. Well, the searching involves lots of running, walking, climbing, and hunting. As a result, they naturally slim down. Slobby Dog and Flabby Cat discover the wonders of "getting off the couch". An excellent message for our ever growing (I mean the waistline, not population) society. Well written without being preachy and great illustrations (I love the huge gut on Slobby Dog on the cover) make this one a winner!

Minifred Goes to School by Mordicai Gerstein, I didn't like. Minifred is a cat, adopted by a childless couple who make her into the child they never had. (There are people who really do this. Their animals are their children.) Minifred, being an "only child", becomes quite spoiled. She starts school and refuses to obey the rules. For some reason, no one realizes she's a cat. Sometimes the suspension of disbelief works, but it didn't here. She continues to disobey rules . . . that's it. No resolve. Just a bratty cat.
The illustrations were OK, but I didn't care for the "cartoon" layout that was predominate.
Skip this one.

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