From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4-Set in early-18th-century France, this adaptation of Charles Perrault's classic tale is filled with lushly delineated period details, moments of tingling excitement, and playful humor. The protagonist, a handsome silver-tabby British shorthair, boasts elegant black-velvet stripes and intelligent green eyes. Bequeathed to a miller's youngest son, the can-do cat promises that he will prove his worth if provided with appropriate footwear and a draw-string sack. Puss gets to work, cunningly using the sack to hunt game, courteously presenting his prizes to the king, and continually singing the praises of his master (dubbed the Count of Carabas). Cleverly orchestrating a meeting between the young man and the king's lovely daughter, Puss bamboozles the monarch into believing that Benjamin is a man of means and then procures these riches by tricking an evil sorcerer out of his holdings. The story ends with a royal wedding and Puss-now prime minister-contemplating future adventures (the rear endpaper shows him captaining a sailing ship). The text clearly relates the plot with lyrical language and vivacious energy, and the color-pencil and watercolor artwork showcases the period's costumes, architecture, and landscapes. Perfectly timed highpoints (and a foldout page) emphasize the sorcerer's transformations into various animals (in response to Puss's taunting dare), as well as the cat pouncing on the man-turned-helpless-mouse. Accessible and eye-catching, this is a fitting companion to Fred Marcellino's exquisite rendition (Farrar, 1990).-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journalα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this classic fairy tale, a clever cat enables his master to marry the king’s daughter. After convincing the king that his humble young master is a wealthy count, Puss flatters a rich shape-shifting ogre, encourages him to turn into a mouse, and devours him. The cat welcomes the king and princess to his master’s castle (formerly the ogre’s). A wedding is announced and the cat is honored by the king. Though changed in a few details, the story is essentially that of Charles Perrault, who is credited in the appended artist’s note. Pinkney’s version is set in France, evidently around the time of the tale’s first publication (1697). Created with graphite, colored pencils, and watercolors, the illustrations vary from the relatively simple, rustic opening scenes, in which characters stand out clearly against light or white backgrounds, to the later ones, which are often so ornate overall that the eye tends to wander from one element to another. A richly detailed version of the tale. Grades 1-3. --Carolyn Phelan