A number of familiar characters return in beginning reader sequels. In Mr. Putter and Tabby Catch the Cold by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Arthur Howard, Mr. Putter is miserable: "Colds aren't so much fun when you're old." Luckily, Mrs. Teaberry makes it better with chicken soup, tea with honey and a little help from her bulldog, Zeke.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Another sweet story about Mr. Putter and his cat. In this title, he goes outside into the snow without his hat and pays the price. He laments that it's no fun getting a cold now that he's an old man. As a boy, he almost enjoyed it because his mother would ply him with hot soup, mint tea, and adventure books. When his neighbor finds out he's sick, she sends her dog, Zeke, over, first with soup, then with mint tea. Finally, she sends him over with his favorite book, an adventure story about a brave dog. Mr. Putter, Tabby, and Zeke huddle in bed and read together. When the book is finished, Mr. P. declares that this is the best cold he's ever had. Howard's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations match the story perfectly and extend the humor in the gentle, easy-to-read narrative.-Lynda S. Poling, Long Beach Public Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
There is a note of melancholy in this tale from Putterland, a place more typical of mirth and everyday adventures that have sprung a leak. Here, Mr. Putter is laid low by a cold--Howard decks him out with dark circles under his drooping lids and a palpable malaise--and "colds aren't so much fun when you're old," he says to his cat Tabby. You don't have to be over 40 to feel the sting of that sentiment. Nor does it help that, Tabby excepting, Mr. Putter lives alone. So as not to slip ever deeper into the existentialism of it all, Rylant sends Mr. Putter's neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, to the rescue. Well, she's not allowed over because Mr. Putter doesn't want her to get his cold, so she sends an emissary, her dog Zeke, who shuffles over with chicken soup and then hot tea in a thermos and finally, best of all, an adventure book. All these goodies remind Mr. Putter of those bygone days when he was a kid with a cold, when "he had almost liked colds. He always got spoiled." He gets spoiled again now, but not before that creeping ache has stolen over the story, testifying to the need for friendships, acts of mercy, and simple kindness. A powerful piece of Putter. (Easy reader. 6-9)
From the Publisher
Praise for the Mr. Putter & Tabby series:
Winsome and warmhearted, these books could become instant favorites."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"If you have a young reader at your house who has yet to meet Mr. Putter and Tabby, you will not regret a visit to the nearest library or bookstore to check out this delightful series."--Home Education Magazine