"Every morning Tibs waited by his front door. And waited... And waited... And waited... And waited..." until finally someone notices him and begrudgingly lets him inside, where he has to wait some more before getting his breakfast. Things proceed in this manner for a long time, until finally one day the orange tabby becomes fed up with all this waiting around. Much to his human family's astonishment, he climbs to the cupboard, gets down his own cat food, and opens the can with a can opener. Impressed (and somewhat relieved), the Ford family soon gives Tibs carte blanche around town. He shops with the family credit card, hangs out in cafés, goes to movies, plays tennis--until the Fords get their monthly bank statement. It's time for Tibs to earn his keep. And suddenly, Tibs isn't sure his cleverness is such a boon after all.
Feline fans--especially older ones--will laugh out loud at this not-so-hard-to-believe fantasy. Most cat owners have wondered at times just how helpless Fluffy really is. Peter Collington's adroitness matches that of Tibs, especially in his priceless illustrations of the cat opening his first can, and strolling by the "less gifted" cats on the stoop. (Ages 6 and older) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Best known for his wordless picture books, Collington (The Angel and the Soldier Boy; The Tooth Fairy) adds a clipped, comical narrative to his meticulously detailed art in this wry volume starring a family cat. One morning, Mrs. Ford finds her pet Tibs a bother and wishes aloud that he could feed himself. Fed up with not being fed, Tibs takes her suggestion to heart and a transformation results. Collington shows him as he rises onto his hind legs, reaches into the cupboard, opens his own can of food and proceeds to eat with a spoon. The Fords proclaim him "a clever cat" and hand him a house key and ATM card so he can buy his own food, too. Tibs's cleverness seems to know no bounds. He dines at an outdoor caf?, shops at a toy store and relaxes in a movie theater. But his carefree lifestyle comes to a halt when the Fords announce that he must find a job to earn his keep. Tibs tries hard to make ends meet but his work suffers and he is fired. The artist creates empathy for the furry fellow throughout his aping of a human existenceAwith expressions to matchAand perfectly captures feline behavior when the hero returns to a cat's life. Collington's droll pictures of this enterprising animal engaged in activities normally reserved for humans will elicit Cheshire grins from readers young and old. All ages. (Aug.)
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