Old Tom, Man of Mystery

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Angela 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
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Angela Throgmorton is tired of doing all of the housework so she makes up a list of chores for her quirky and spoiled-rotten orange cat. Old Tom, of course, will have none of it and feigns illness. While he is supposedly recuperating in bed, he dons a disguise and emerges as The Man of Mystery and steals a cake that Angela has just baked and watches TV. That night the woman hears footsteps and follows The Man of Mystery around the neighborhood and city. Even though Old Tom gets busted, Angela forgives him in the end and still thinks she can get him to help out around the house. As in Old Tom's Holiday (Peachtree, 2004), the text tells a simple story but the brightly colored cartoon illustrations provide laugh-out-loud humor. Fans of Harry Allard and Dav Pilkey should enjoy this title.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Angela Throgmorton has had it with lazy Old Tom. She makes a long list of chores her feline companion can do to help around the house. When she presents it to him, he falls ill. Taking him at his word, she tucks him in and does some chores herself. Awakened in the night by mysterious footsteps, Angela follows a strangely familiar figure through the city. When she deduces the identity of the . . . er, man in the mask, she lies in wait for him at home. Angela can never stay mad at Old Tom for long, and she makes him breakfast in bed. After all, he'll need his strength to tackle the long list of chores. Published two years ago in Australia, Old Tom's second American outing lacks some of the charm of the first, Old Tom's Holiday (2004). Still, the deadpan delivery and squiggly, almost drunken illustrations are back, and fans who loved the first will enjoy this. It just might not win Tom any new ones. (Picture book. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561453467
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,308,612
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.06 (w) x 11.08 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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