Scaredy Cats

Holiday House/Neal Porter. Oct. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823452071.
PreS-K–An orange cat and a white cat, confronted by a pink and very festive-looking package, discuss what it might hold. Cake is one answer, but then so is crocodile. Worse, what if it’s a crocodile with cake? By this time a gray tabby has joined the original kittens, and there is nothing like group-think for inspiring absolute hysteria. A fierce tiger and a great white shark are the next visions the kittens try out, and in Mack’s pages chaos is coming in the form of a T-rex and a 30-ton monster guinea pig. They scramble, all but the original white kitten, and readers are left with the possibilities. Discuss. Reading more like a ghost story that ends with a scream instead of a resolution, text and very frenetic art create a madcap setting, and then just as quickly shut it down.
VERDICT Some children love anticipation more than an ending, and they’ll adore this book. It delivers an entire screwball comedy in very few pages and will inspire some very interesting post-story discussions.

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