Scaredy Cat, a young kitten who is afraid of everything all the time, discovers that he possesses courage and bravery that he never knew he had after a confrontation with a tiny spider.
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``I don't like GIANTS,'' reports a small quivering kitten, but Mama Meow reassures her child that this particular giant is their kindly owner, Auntie B. The narrator also dislikes crocodiles (``Auntie B.'s shoes'') and the dark forest that is really the four hairy legs of Auntie B.'s dog, Scratchpooch. When the kitten mistakes the dog's nose for an ``eensie-weensie'' spider and takes a swing at Scratchpooch, ``Kapow!'' and this scaredy cat is transformed into Tiger Cat: ``WOW!/are eensie-weensie spiders/scared of me!'' The upbeat message--that courage may be only a matter of perspective--lights up a cheerful comedy from Rankin (The Little Cat and the Greedy Old Woman, 1995), who shows Tiger, in the last scene, going nose-to-nose with a huge neighborhood dog. This lesson in assertiveness--hardly clouded by the notion that a good swat is the answer to fear--gives preschoolers a congenial view of the things that frighten the kitten in gleefully expressive illustrations; adults may gain a new sense of just how big and forbidding the world can appear to the very young. (Picture book. 3-6) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From School Library Journal:
PreSchool-K-Scaredy Cat, a fat, fluffy kitten, is threatened, in turn, by a giant, 2 crocodiles, 10 wiggly thingamajigs, a sucking monster, and a hairy forest. She runs to Mama Meow, who soothes her with explanations: it's only Auntie B.'s shadow, the woman's reptile-leather shoes, her hands in pink rubber gloves, her vacuum cleaner, and her big dog. Scaredy Cat leaps to Auntie B.'s lap and hides in her knitting. From there she thinks she sees an eensie-weensie spider, actually the dog's whiskered nose, and bops it hard with her paw, driving him away in fright and surprise and gaining for herself the name of Tiger Cat. Double-page spreads of cartoon shapes in soft watercolors and seen from various angles are full of life and personality. The simple text is printed declaratively in all sizes of type from huge to tiny to express the story more effectively. A funny read-aloud for the timid and not so timid alike.
Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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