From the Publisher
“This picturebook provides a fitting showcase for Perrault's artful tale of deceit and recourcefulness. Befitting a fairy tale, the artwork inside is suffused with a golden light that proclaims the story to be from a sunnier, more dreamlike world.” Booklist, Starred Review
“Large and strikingly original illustrations embellish a straight-forward retelling of the famous story. . . . The pictures are filled with sly details . . . A noteworthy edition . . . splendid for reading aloud.” The Horn Book, Starred Review
“The artist's luxurious and skillfully designed paintings startle in their complexity and beauty. . . . This version of Perrault's classic story is brilliantly conceived and executed.” Publishers Weekly, Boxed Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lewis and Eidrigevicius here take on a more familiar tale than in their Johnny Longnose , and they give it a distinctly adult look. Lewis's translation of the Perrault classic is smooth and accessible, but Eidrigevicius's trademark surreal paintings are uniformly overcast, even murky. Though some of the illustrations are dramatic (e.g., the cat's paw extends into one frame to grab a rabbit) and others wryly amusing (a shirt forms the river that Puss's master swims in), the somber tone seems at odds with the story, in which ingenuity triumphs. This enterprise is aimed at a group far different than that addressed by the Fred Marcellino version--and one of which few children will be members. Ages 5-8. (May)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Inspired by a tale that has delighted readers for 300 years, Marcellino provides a visual feast in this picture book. Clever Puss helps his young master succeed in fooling a rich man and even wins his daughter's hand in marriage. Gorgeous gold-toned illustrations of the French Court and countryside fill every spread. 1991 Caldecott Honor Book, 1991 Notable Children's Book.
Children's Literature - Wendy Mann
The unique illustrations of Hans Fisher bring this new version of an old favorite to life. Fisher adds interesting special sections about Puss' trouble walking in boots, his fearfulness of the old magician and his use of frightening faces. The artwork offers readers the opportunity to view the work of a well-known Swiss illustrator while enjoying a timeless classic.
PreS-Gr 3-This version is particularly accessible to the youngest readers while maintaining the integrity of the story. It is narrated in a straightforward manner, without embellishments, and the scarier elements are softened, e.g., Puss wins the castle from a magician rather than an ogre. Children may question whether he deserves his unfortunate fate, but the illustrations suggest that perhaps he is not the nicest magician on the block. In the end, the resourceful cat is forbidden to tell any more lies "...and so (like all Ministers of State) he never told anything but the truth." While older readers will appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humor, the illustrations, rendered in strong clear colors, are the highlight here. Puss's red boots are particularly snazzy, but, throughout, Lunelli balances soft muted tones with splashes of vivid yellow, green, and blue. His remarkable use of light and shadow give an overall sunny cast to the book. The smooth narrative and bright, attractive pictures make this a good choice for read-alouds. Older children may prefer Fred Marcellino's more sophisticated illustrations (Farrar, 1990), but Lunelli's style should appeal to them as well.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Clever Puss is back, but he's a very different feline from the one found in Marcellino's Caldecott Honor book (Farrar, 1990). The text, ably translated by Lewis, is immediately familiar and, like the Marcellino edition, reads like a traditional fairy tale. It is Eidrigevicius's dark and somber illustrations that make this such a striking book. His flat, eerily symbolic pictures, while artistically intriguing, are also deeply disturbing. The unique style, filled with ``brooding figures and enigmatic landscapes,'' worked beautifully in Johnny Longnose (1990) and The Hungry One (1993, both North-South), but here it creates a visual interpretation that seems ill-suited to Perrault's elegant, acerbic tale. Fans of the artist will no doubt welcome this effort, and libraries with comprehensive folk and fairy-tale collections will want to add it for its unusual artistic vision. Libraries interested in more traditional treatments will find Marcellino's version still their best bet.-Linda Boyles, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL