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Children's LiteratureAngela Throgmorton, tired of doing all the work around the house, decides that it is time for Old Tom, her sly, rambunctious cat whom we have met in Old Tom's Holiday to do his share. Suddenly Old Tom feels sick, so she puts him to bed. There he turns himself into the Man of Mystery. As Angela goes about her chores, she notices strange things happening. That night, she follows footsteps out of the house. It is, of course, the Man of Mystery going about his mischievous business. She is a bit slow, but he finally begins to look familiar to her. When she goes home and finds his bed empty, she waits angrily for his return. But soft-hearted Angela just cannot stay angry with him. The clever cat is soon getting his breakfast in bed. (Gotta love that little devil!) The bare text is but a frame for the frantic sequence of full-page scenes in which the cartoon characters interact. Sketchy pen-and-ink black lines define characters and objects, while watery gouache and acrylic paints supply much of the emotional content of slapstick humor. Sketchy cat heads fill the endpapers, while Tom, in his black bat-like cape and mismatched eyes, carrying a fish skeleton, sets a tone of surreal absurdity on the jacket. 2005, Peachtree Publishers, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz