Big Meow

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Little Cat, an ever-hopeful orange fluffball, wants desperately to belong to the band of neighborhood cats, but is ostracized for his "loud as a lion's roar" meow. "Little Cat, Little Cat, go away! Scat!... Your meow makes the sidewalk shake. It gives us a headache." In contrast to the quaint and hopeful tone of Spires's The Mouse of Amherst, this attenuated tale's effort at friskiness falls flat with some tired puns and uninspired rhyme: "We're proud of your meow, so big and so loud. It's purrr-fect!" his mother reassures the pitiable puss. Jabar's (Daddies Are for Catching Fireflies) rosy backdrops and fuzzy-edged felines fail to energize the story, as does the deployment of the word "meow," which stretches across the spreads in a large, jagged font. While children may empathize with the snubbing that Little Cat endures at the paws of his peers, the resolution is problematic. Little Cat's rowdy mewing meets with approval only after it sends Bruno the bulldog "clear into the next town" and inspires Little Cat's newfound friends to ask, "Now how about chasing ALL the dogs away?" The acceptance Little Cat earns is not enough to turn around a tedious story, and the message seems murky it's okay to be yourself, but only when it serves others. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Youngsters who have ever been ostracized from a group will empathize with Little Cat, who is taunted by the neighborhood felines because his meow is too loud. "Your meow makes the sidewalk shake. It gives us a headache.-Little Cat, go away! Scat!" When a ferocious bulldog threatens to eat them for lunch, however, it's Little Cat who saves them. Conquering his fear, he finally manages a meow that "catapult[s] Bruno over the horizon, clear into the next town," and assures his place among his peers. Jabar's acrylic cartoon illustrations are large and brightly colored. Little Cat's face is brimming with eagerness to please and to be accepted, while his peers show their disgust in expression and body language. The brief text, some of which rhymes, is appropriately repetitive and conveys both the cats' derision ("Your meow is one big CAT-astrophe!") and the small protagonist's parents' pride in their son ("I wouldn't trade your meow for a year of catfish dinners"). Although the story has an obvious intent, as evidenced by the dictum on the back cover: "Listen to your tiny voice Be Brave," the young hero's triumph will likely resonate with young readers.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763606794
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.84 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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