K-Gr 2-Once there was a kingdom in which children were given names based on their physical attributes. Thus, the king and queen name their chubby little son Puf. The sappy name, coupled with the prince's precocious intelligence, would seem to preclude regular schooling. The other kids, after all, might make fun of him. So the royal couple hire a reputedly brilliant tutor who is thrilled to teach so bright a pupil. Of course, there is a fly in the ointment, and in this case it's the grand chamberlain, who dislikes the tutor and tries to convince the monarchs that the tutor is incompetent. Ku, the tutor, makes the job easier for the chamberlain by giving Puf only two lessons: One and one is two, and a cat is a cat. How these two lessons manage to convince the royal parents that their son is being educated comprises the rest of this quirky little story. Ponti's cartoon illustrations in luminous watercolor depict Puf and family as odd, furry little crosses between cats, rabbits, and people. The story is charmingly told and engaging if, even at the end, it seems just a little obscure. Still, it holds considerable child appeal and is just the right size for little hands to hold. Probably best reserved for one-on-one sharing, this unusual and well-translated French import will be welcome in libraries and bookstores. Ann Welton, Grant Center for the Performing Arts, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.