From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3--The story of a voracious cat that gobbles up everyone and everything in his path is found in many cultures. So's choice of an Indian variant to retell makes for an interesting menu, as the creature devours a nosy old lady, a sultan and his bride, and a troop of elephants. The smoothly written text reads aloud well, and children will enjoy chiming in on the "gobble, gobble, slip, slop" refrain that appears in a hot-pink font and increases in proportion to the cat's expanding girth. The jewel-toned illustrations, done in ink and watercolor on rice paper, feature large, dramatic figures to capture immediate interest; the eye is then gradually drawn to smaller details foretelling the next victim. After two crabs free those that have been consumed, the characters emerge from the feline's stomach in an impressive gatefold. A tasty addition to folklore or picture-book shelves.--Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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K-Gr. 2. So's raucous, wildly exaggerated tale from India, which focuses on the evils of gluttony, will remind readers of a certain old lady. A cat and a parrot decide to take turns preparing meals for each other. The cat makes the parrot three grains of rice, and the parrot makes the cat 500 cakes. The cat eats them all, demands more, and then eats the parrot! Still hungry, "gobble, gobble, slip, slop" Cat devours an old woman who scolds him, a farmer and his donkey, the sultan, his bride, his elephant, and his soldiers. The blue-gray tabby gets bigger and bigger (and more unhappy looking) until he finally swallows two crabs. They cut a hole in his tummy and let everyone out. So illustrates it all with ink and watercolors on buff-colored rice paper, a neutral base for the splendidly vivid and evocative images inspired by both Western and Eastern traditions. The impressionistic art shows echoes of Persian and Indian miniatures, Chinese silk painting, and European folk patterns. Much giggling will ensue. GraceAnne DeCandido
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