Puss in Boots

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his first book, Light retells this Charles Perrault classic with a wry touch and embellishes his narrative with stylized collages. His concluding note explains that the art was inspired by the work of French Rococo artists, especially that of Jean-Honor Fragonard, as well as by French decorative wallpapers. The hand-stamped paper featuring various patterns at times competes with the compositions, rather than enhancing them (especially when a similar pattern appears in the sky and on the walls of the king's palace). But more often, the patterns' designs and elegant palettes give these pages a sophistication that the artist offsets, quite creatively, with childlike renderings of faces or figures in geometric shapes (especially that of the ogre, which keeps the fright to a safe minimum). Befitting his starring role, the clever title character steals the spotlight visually: her image is shaped from a striped French provincial fabric, her jacket and hat are cut from a bold, vermilion pattern and her prominent, oversize boots stand out as the only shock of black in the pictures. Though Light pares the narrative to a minimal length, a small type size and relatively complex vocabulary recommend this as a read-aloud or for more experienced readers. A noteworthy debut. Ages 3-6. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The traditional tale of the youngest son who inherits only a cat but wins a kingdom and princess because of the feline's cleverness is retold in a simple, lively fashion. Here the cat is female. Inventing her master as the Marquis of Carabas, she sets him up to meet the king and the princess, then tricks the wealthy ogre to acquire his lands. The very decorative setting and equally frothy characters are created with prepared papers and fabric, cut and assembled on the pages. Sometimes casual pencil lines add features such as the hairs of Puss's whiskers. The visually playful narrative parallels the up-beat text, while demanding examination of the complex, many textured scenes. 2002, Harry N Abrams,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Inspired by the work of the French Rococo artist Jean-Honor Fragonard and by French decorative wallpapers, Light created patterned papers onto which he collaged the main illustrations for this story. The results are bright, busy, cheery spreads that suit his lighthearted retelling. Sinuous swirls and curves abound. Puss, here a clever female feline with a body rendered in striped fabric, is adorned in stylish black boots that reach up to her thighs and a waistcoat that, while a bit worn and stained, resembles elaborate red French-provincial fabric. The king, in royal purple with fleur-de-lis decoration, is ever smiling as his daughter demurely looks on in her pale peach dress and skyscraper hairdo. The text, which appears in large type below each spread, is relatively brief and humorous. When the king compliments the miller's son on his property, the young man replies, "It is surprisingly productive, sire." The ogre answers Puss's praise of his castle with, "It's simple, but it's home." Some scary elements have been toned down as well. Puss enlists the peasants' help in her scheme by offering reward rather than punishment, and the ogre is amazingly polite-a fact that does not, however, save him from being devoured in the end. This enjoyable retelling would be a welcome addition to folktale collections.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810943681
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 1 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.75 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Light
Steve Light
Steve Light has written and illustrated numerous books for children. He is also a storyteller and preschool art teacher. He lives in New York City.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2002

    A Great Children's Book

    This relates to children very well and was able to hold my child's attention. She totally enjoyed this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2002

    Iliustration at it's best

    This book has it all...The story is easy reading especially since the illustration takes you through with style. Each scene flows into the next with great design concepts. A winner for children and the adults reading it to them. I can't wait till the next one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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