Mattie's Little Possum Pet

Mattie's Little Possum Pet

by Ida Luttrell, Betsy Lewin

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Luttrell ( Be Nice to Marilyn ) and Lewin ( Araminta's Paint Box ) prove that looks can deceive in this homespun tale. ``One bright, leaf-tumbling morning,'' lanky farmer Mattie looks in on her chickens, then goes to pick persimmons with her dog Howler and cat Prowler. On their way into the woods, the three find a possum, belly-up. Mattie takes pity on the spiky-haired critter, never realizing that it's just, well, playing possum. The ``varmint'' causes trouble, and Howler and Prowler take the blame until Mattie learns the truth. Luttrell's lively narrative includes some colorful phrases (when the pink-tailed miscreant invades the henhouse, Mattie's chickens exclaim, ``A woolly-hopper egg popper!''). Lewin makes skillful use of gestural outlines and sparingly applied watercolors: Mattie's impish face shows that she's easygoing but strong-willed, Howler's and Prowler's eyes communicate feelings from contentment to exasperation, and the possum's smirk betrays its sneakiness. With one flaw--the oft-mentioned persimmons never appear--the authors craft an animated, expressively illustrated work. Too bad they left out the recipe for possum pie. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Hazel Rochman
Rambunctious cartoons with bold thick lines and splotchy watercolors illustrate a story of uproar in the barnyard. Farmer Mattie brings home a "sweet" little possum that displaces her dog Howler and her cat Prowler in her affections. Sly and quick, the newcomer creates chaos--spilling milk; "slurping eggs and scattering shells"; "bumping, jumping, and mattress-thumping"--and he manages to get Howler and Prowler blamed for everything. They seethe and steam, but then they get back at that possum with his own lying tricks, and Mattie finally sees him as the "shifty little varmint" he is. Kids will love the fury and all the great words for the commotion, as well as the gleeful reversal.

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
8.66(w) x 10.24(h) x (d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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