Bathe the Cat

Chronicle. Nov. 2021. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781452142708.
PreS-K–A sly cat helms this comedy of errors featuring a diverse family with two fathers who both have brown skin and black hair. Expecting Grandma Marge at two o’clock, the parents and their kids follow a list of chores that must be done in order to get the house in top form. One father outlines the chore list with alphabetic refrigerator magnets. When the family cat catches wind that his bath is on the list, he rearranges the chores to read, “feed the floor ... sweep the dishes.” Tomfoolery ensues as the family sets out on their jumbled tasks, and the cat—unable to read the words he is rearranging—finds this mix-up did not work out in his favor, as he hears the final task of “mow the cat.” The cat moves the letters yet again and the chores get ever sillier, ending with—much to the feline’s dismay—“vacuum the cat.” The family has almost run out of time to clean before Grandma Marge’s arrival, so one father takes charge, ending the list with a much more kitty-friendly “rock the cat.” Told in rhyming verse, McGinty’s silly yarn has charm to spare. Young readers will be tickled by the cat’s mischievous misdirects and the resulting pandemonium. Roberts’s pen and watercolor illustrations carry on the aesthetic tradition of Pat Hutchins and Judi Barrett, paying homage to the colors and fashions of the 70s. Each page is filled with well-conceived details that deserve close inspection.
VERDICT Preschoolers will be in stitches reading this modern revelry told through a vintage lens. A recommended purchase for most collections.

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