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Puss in Boots

Overview

A beautifully illustrated retelling of the beloved fairy tale from Caldecott Medal-winning author Jerry Pinkney
 
For generations, children have been enchanted by the tale of the clever cat in fancy boots who outsmarts a king and a sorcerer to win a castle and a bride for his penniless master. The humor, the magic, and a lush Renaissance setting are all on glorious display, and a well-placed gatefold adds to the drama. This elegant new ...

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Overview

A beautifully illustrated retelling of the beloved fairy tale from Caldecott Medal-winning author Jerry Pinkney
 
For generations, children have been enchanted by the tale of the clever cat in fancy boots who outsmarts a king and a sorcerer to win a castle and a bride for his penniless master. The humor, the magic, and a lush Renaissance setting are all on glorious display, and a well-placed gatefold adds to the drama. This elegant new edition of Charles Perrault's folktale is essential for every child's library. Read it in tandem with other Pinkney classic picture books like The Little Red Hen and The Lion and the Mouse.

"This book is larger than life."-Library Media Connection
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Following earlier interpretations of The Little Red Hen and Little Red Riding Hood, Caldecott Medalist Pinkney (The Lion & the Mouse) offers another sumptuous reimagining of a classic story, this time drawing inspiration from 18th-century France, when Perrault’s tale was first translated into English. Working in graphite, colored pencil, and watercolors, Pinkney offers finely detailed portrayals of both the autumnal countryside of dense birch forests and busy fields and the imposing architecture and lavish fashions of the period. Pinkney portrays Puss in naturalistic detail, yet his mischievous, quick-thinking personality radiates from his outsize gestures and facial expressions. As in the original story, Puss—looking dapper in flared scarlet boots and a brimmed hat with turquoise plume—works behind the scenes to engineer a regal life for his master, the youngest son of a miller. Pinkney makes Puss’s major triumph (tricking a shape-shifting sorcerer out of his castle) especially dramatic, using a gatefold to show off the man’s metamorphosis into a ferocious bear. Given the breathtaking graphics, Pinkney’s well-crafted narrative is almost a bonus. Ages 4–8. Agent: Sheldon Fogelman, Sheldon Fogelman Agency. (Nov.)
Review Feed
Praise for Puss in Boots:

"This book is larger than life."—LMC

"A richly detailed version of the tale."—Booklist

"The text clearly relates the plot with lyrical language and vivacious energy, and the color-pencil and watercolor artwork showcases the period's costumes, architecture, and landscapes."—School Library Journal

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4—Set in early-18th-century France, this adaptation of Charles Perrault's classic tale is filled with lushly delineated period details, moments of tingling excitement, and playful humor. The protagonist, a handsome silver-tabby British shorthair, boasts elegant black-velvet stripes and intelligent green eyes. Bequeathed to a miller's youngest son, the can-do cat promises that he will prove his worth if provided with appropriate footwear and a draw-string sack. Puss gets to work, cunningly using the sack to hunt game, courteously presenting his prizes to the king, and continually singing the praises of his master (dubbed the Count of Carabas). Cleverly orchestrating a meeting between the young man and the king's lovely daughter, Puss bamboozles the monarch into believing that Benjamin is a man of means and then procures these riches by tricking an evil sorcerer out of his holdings. The story ends with a royal wedding and Puss-now prime minister-contemplating future adventures (the rear endpaper shows him captaining a sailing ship). The text clearly relates the plot with lyrical language and vivacious energy, and the color-pencil and watercolor artwork showcases the period's costumes, architecture, and landscapes. Perfectly timed highpoints (and a foldout page) emphasize the sorcerer's transformations into various animals (in response to Puss's taunting dare), as well as the cat pouncing on the man-turned-helpless-mouse. Accessible and eye-catching, this is a fitting companion to Fred Marcellino's exquisite rendition (Farrar, 1990).—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
A retold but intact version of the familiar tale, given the customary early-18th-century setting in illustrations crowded with figures and period detail. Pinkney retells the tale in plain, measured language: " ‘Have some boots made for me,' [the cat] said, ‘and give me a strong sack with a drawstring. I just might be able to help you find your fortune.' " With a few minor changes or additions (the ogre, for instance, is a "rich and evil sorcerer" depicted as human), the story puts passive young Benjamin into the paws of a feline impresario who orchestrates his rise to fame, fortune and a royal wedding to the equally inert Princess Daniella. Identified in the author's afterword as a "black-and-white silver-tabby British shorthair," the cat cuts a properly self-confident, swashbuckling figure as he inserts himself into a claustrophobically populous royal entourage bursting with sumptuously patterned silks, floating ribbons, airy plumage and ruffles. He goes on to trick the sorcerer in a confrontation (depicted in part in an awkwardly placed gatefold) and to become prime minister. Nor are his adventures over, as a nautical scene on the rear endpaper hints. Handsomely turned out, as can be expected…but Pinkney himself notes that he studied over 20 illustrated editions of the story before producing one of his own, and he offers nothing particularly fresh. (Picture book/folk tale. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803716421
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/13/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 327,228
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.36 (w) x 11.66 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Pinkney is one of America’s most admired children’s book illustrators. He has won the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards, five New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Awards, the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award, and many other prizes and honors. Recently a member of the National Council of the Arts and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has also served on the U.S. Postal Service Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Schomburg Center, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Jerry Pinkney lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, in Westchester County, New York.

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