Children's LiteratureHodges brings to life the legend that has grown up around the actual character of Dick Whittington. The poor boy, working hard in a London house and mistreated by the cook, cannot sleep because of the rats and mice in his attic room. Tabby, the cat he acquires to chase them away, is all he has to send on his master's ship for trading abroad. Discouraged by his life, he leaves London, but seems to hear the church bells calling him back. Meanwhile, arriving at a port, Tabby has rid a king's palace of rats and mice and has been paid for with a treasure, making Dick a rich man for his trade. Thus begins his road to success, ending as the bells predicted, Lord Mayor of London. Although not in a specific style, Potter sets her ink and gouache scenes in a manner suggesting an unsophisticated creator. She includes many details of houses, castle turrets, church facades, cobbled streets, and people in clothes of another era. The visual narrative is easy to follow, offering a light-hearted sense to even the more dramatic scenes. The characters seem to be in make-up with exaggerated features, like actors in a play. The lively telling has broad appeal. Background factual information is included. 2006, Holiday House, Ages 5 to 9.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz