When Mr. and Mrs. Portly find a tiny kitten in their home, they name her Minifred and raise her as their child. Minifred grows up in a remarkably human fashion: she walks on two legs, talks, and attends school with children. She retains a few feline traits, though, such as a tendency to chase flies and a refusal to follow rules. Minifred’s willfulness leads to problems at school, until the principal checks “The Big Rule Book” and discovers an exemption for kittens. A plot summary doesn’t begin to convey the fun of watching this cheerful kitten create chaos at school simply by following her instincts and inclinations. In scenes worthy of an obedient student’s escapist daydreams, Minifred finger paints with her toes, runs up walls, tears through the school, and eventually winds up at its highest point, spinning on the weather vane. Lively, colorful mixed-media illustrations magnify the absurdity of the story in this satisfying picture book. Preschool-Grade 3. --Carolyn Phelan
About the Author
Mordicai Gerstein is the author and illustrator of many beloved books for children. He won the 2004 Caldecott Medal for The Man Who Walked Between the Towers and is also a painter, sculptor, and prizewinning designer and director of animated films. Mordicai Gerstein lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, Susan Yard Harris, who is also an illustrator, and their daughter, Risa.