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Glamourpuss Hardcover – February 24, 2015
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Glamourpuss lives in the lap of luxury with doting "gazillionaires," Mr. and Mrs. Highhorsen. The regal white cat eats from a golden goblet at the dinner table and perches atop her pedestal on a tasseled pillow. A glimpse into her private chambers reveals a litter box embellished with gilt and draperies. This lifestyle can go to a girl's head, and this feline has a big one: "instead of saying 'me-ow' like an ordinary cat, she shortened it to just…'Me!'" Glamourpuss has mastered "haughty disdain" and the regal staircase descent. So when Bluebelle (a tacky, high-strung Chihuahua from Houston) comes for an extended visit, there is trouble in paradise. A joy to read aloud, this book features sophisticated language and plenty of space for the artist's visual antics. A master of the page turn, Small provides hilarious scenes of ostentatious settings and preening, as well as moving moments of self-doubt. Collage elements are introduced into his ink, watercolor, and pastel compositions to great comic effect; strategically placed mid-century fonts underscore the sweet message. People are viewed from the neck down, which mirrors an actual cat's perspective. While the dog's frenetic impersonations of Carmen Miranda and Scarlett O'Hara steal the show for a time, both characters face a crisis of character in this competitive environment and ultimately find a new way to relate to each other—as student and tutor. A blissful embrace will warm readers' hearts at the conclusion of this smart and funny tale.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library
* "Weeks deftly leavens moments of hilarity with the process of grieving in this sweet coming-of-age story in which Alice learns from Aunt Polly to follow her heart and to open it as well. Readers will close the book with a satisfied sigh and may seek out an adult to help them bake a pie." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review
* "What do you get when you take some scrumptious pie recipes, stir in a mix-up of a mystery involving an overweight cat and a legacy, then add a sly satirical nod to the Newbery Medal? This irresistible confection. . . . Warm, delicious and filling." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review
"The text richly describes the pie-making (and eating) process and includes multiple mouth-watering recipes for readers to try themselves. This would make a tasty readaloud for classrooms or families; stock up on pie ingredients first." -- BCCB
"This enjoyable chapter book is a real charmer." -- BOOKLIST
"Stimulates both sweet tooths and sweet nostalgia." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
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Top Customer Reviews
While this story is aimed at young readers with its simple narrative and simplistic pink-hued illustrations, there are a few underlying messages here. The little chihuahua, Bluebelle, looks stressed in every picture because she's forced to wear silly clothes and do stupid pet tricks. In other words, she's living a life to please others and not herself. Glamourpuss, who may be jealous of the new girl in the house shows the dog how to act "normal." There is some competition at first, but in the end the two animals become best friends.
The vocabulary is appropriate for young readers and the theme is of tolerance to differences, but there is more for those who have worked with animals, animal shelters and animal rescue...
And that's the end of the children's story. Now comes my adult commentary. The little chihuahua arrives at the "Highhorsen" home looking stressed out, with large, scared (bug-eyed) eyes and wearing a frilly dress. Many owners of chihuahuas dress their dogs up to replace children they may have had decades before. Now the dogs must learn stupid tricks to win their admiration and love by the owners. In every illustration with the dog, the dog has a scared, paranoid look. This is common in small-breed dogs that are expected to "perform" and wear silly clothes. The author intends for this to be a subtle message to these small-dog owners, because these owners put more stress on their dogs than similar cat owners do on their cats. They should instead just love the dog for what it is and let it live the life of a dog, and not a canine version of a child that has long ago left its nest.
I want to thank Sarah Weeks, author and David Small, illustrator and Goodreads First Reads Giveaway for the copy of Glamourpuss that my mother won in the Giveaway.
-like cat, Glamourpuss, learns that she can be friends with a doubty chihuahua named Bluebell. We have a little chihuahua, so from the moment I cracked the cover on this book we were all in love with Bluebell. Glamourpuss was not, but her family was! In the end the cat and dog become friends. Great book for teaching our children about being judgmental vs getting to know someone and being kind to everyone. The artwork is very cute abs cool to me. My 6 year old prefers more colorful artwork, but enjoyed the book and story anyway. We will definetly revisit this book next time one of our kiddos responds with a judgemental attitude toward a person that doesn't look like them. Should be a great tool.
So, what is the message? I guess it is that we want to be someone other than who we are if they get more attention than we do. The cover may be pink and be glittery, but the book is not the best we've read. It is on the shelf and not in the basket for quick access.