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Posted October 31, 2006
Arthur, Malcolm. Puss in Boots. New York. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1990. Illustrated by Fred Marcellino. Malcolm Arthur's retelling of the Charles Perrault classic, Puss in Boots has put a lighter spin to the dark tale. One of three sons of a miller is left only with a cat upon his father's death. The son is in despair, thinking that he cannot support himself with only a cat. The cat says to his new master, 'Don't worry master, just get me a sack and a pair of boots to carry me through the brambles and you'll see you have not come out as badly as you think.' Puss begins to spin his web of deceit to help his master to only win the hand of the King's beautiful daughter. Puss used his cunning skills to outsmart an Ogre by saying, 'I hear you can turn yourself into small animals, too, a rat or a mouse, for instance. That seems impossible.' The Ogre having a competitive nature changed himself into a mouse, which Puss quickly devoured, leaving a fabulous castle to his own master. The miller's son takes the beautiful princess as his bride, thus Puss having fulfilled his promise, he was made a 'Lord' and live the high life from that day forward. The illustrations by Fred Marcellino the illustrator of many well-known children's books, are wonderful and the story is delightful. This version of the classic tale even earned a Caldecott Honor award.
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