From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Readers who get the jokes in this zany tale will enjoy Ahlberg's quirky wit. "Once upon a topsy-turvy time in the middle of a long hot winter," an elaborately dressed couple visits Nurse Doodle's shop to obtain a baby. Eschewing the many different types of little ones available–a flowerpot-throwing baby, a crybaby, a robot baby–they choose a cat baby, and she settles into her new home quite nicely. However, one "harum-scarum night" while she is watching the neighbors play tennis by flashlight, the feline becomes frightened and, instead of running home, ends up where she started out. Luckily, she is restored to her parents in time to become a prizewinner in the baby show. Packed with tiny details, Wegner's small pen-and-ink illustrations are just right for this little book and add immensely to the offbeat humor. The adults are festooned in fancy Victorian clothing with flowers, feathers, and birds aplenty. A dragon observes the tennis players, who look very much like Keystone Cops. When the family visits the park on Christmas Eve, the moon smiles mischievously at the silly humans below as they climb up the Christmas Ladder to a hot-air balloon, receive presents from Santa, and parachute back to earth. Pair this bit of nonsense with Andrea Perry's Here's What You Do When You Can't Find Your Shoe
(Atheneum, 2003) for an entertaining look at the absurd side of life.–Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT
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PreS. What words describe this small, compact book? Quirky? Odd? Yes, but also thoroughly delightful. A middle-aged Victorian couple heads down to the baby store (that's "how it was done in those days"). Nurse Doodle shows them the pink baby and the crybaby, but they choose the cat baby. Yes, an adorable kitten in a lace dress. Her first word is "Meow!" the second, "Purr!" and the third and fourth, "More milk." In short chapters, the book chronicles the cat girl's adventures: running away from home, visiting Nurse Doodle, taking prizes in both a cat and a baby show. The clever text is more than matched by diminutive pencil drawings: art that fills the small pages, scenes that stretch in ribbons across double-spreads, and tiny vignettes. Through rendered without color, the pictures exude radiance. Perhaps it's simply the affection between the parents and their child casting beams from the pages. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved