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Puss Jekyll Cat Hyde


Good puss or bad cat?
Jekyll or Hyde?
One and the same?
Who decides?

Puss Jekyll is the soft cuddly cat of the house grooming her fur, but at night she becomes Cat Hyde, hunting mice, all fang and claw. Page by page this delightful book explores the two very distinct personalities of the enchanting pet. Sleeping in a cozy spot or prowling in the moonlight, lapping milk from ...

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Good puss or bad cat?
Jekyll or Hyde?
One and the same?
Who decides?

Puss Jekyll is the soft cuddly cat of the house grooming her fur, but at night she becomes Cat Hyde, hunting mice, all fang and claw. Page by page this delightful book explores the two very distinct personalities of the enchanting pet. Sleeping in a cozy spot or prowling in the moonlight, lapping milk from a bowl or stalking a defenceless trembling vole, playing with a ball of wool or savaging her prey, graceful and aristocratic or ruthless street fighter, can this really be the same creature? The beautifully evocative rhythmic and rhyming text is accompanied by luminous colored-pencil and watercolor drawings that make the reader want to reach out and feel the fur. This treat for cat-lovers of all ages is from the highly acclaimed author of bestselling picture books such as Tell Me Something Before You Go to Sleep, and the illustrator of such classics as Martin Waddell's The Pig in the Pond and the Boston Globe Horn Book Award winning In the Rain with Baby Duck.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—In carefully crafted verse, Dunbar reveals the dual nature of a household pet. There's Puss Jekyll, who by day "soothes,/Bewitches,/Beguiles, With her smooth,/Velvety wiles." Yet by night, she becomes Cat Hyde, a "Night stalker,/Roof walker,/Fearless,/Tearless/Street fighter." The poetic stanzas devoted to Jekyll conjure images of a soft, affectionate, beloved member of the family ("This is Puss Jekyll/Nuzzles up/Nose to nose./How we love/To be close/Me and my pet!"). They contrast dramatically with the descriptions of the feline's alter ego. Although spine-tingling, the passages that follow Hyde in her nighttime excursions may be a bit gruesome for some youngsters ("Through the mud/On the scent/On the track/Of blood/Fear and bone/Hunting the lone/Vole or shrew"). Still, Dunbar's vivid language perfectly captures the unique essence of the serene yet skilled predator. Barton's gracefully executed pencil and watercolor illustrations will touch the hearts of cat lovers of all ages. The black-and-white "dear little Kittikins" lazes contentedly in the sun on one spread and then lurks in the shadows, green eyes glinting with cunning determination on the next. This quixotic picture book may serve as an appealing introduction to poetry.—Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA
Kirkus Reviews
This slim British import, which combines beautiful artwork and brief, poetic text, seems more likely to appeal to adult cat lovers than to young listeners, but the dichotomy at its heart may be intriguing to some children, and the lush language pleases the ear and offers plenty to discuss. A placid black-and-white cat gazes out from the front cover. Inside, each double-page spread features a realistic colored-pencil and watercolor portrait of the same cat engaged in typical feline pursuits. When licking a paw clean, she's a "[f]urry, purry puss." The turn of the page shows her with a dead mouse clamped between her jaws and offers this description: "Scourge of the mouse /… / All fang and claw." Dunbar's verse varies in quality but overall succeeds in capturing the cat's essential character. Light backgrounds contrast with darker, shadowed ones, while the texture of the paper adds depth and interest to the simply sketched settings. Barton's illustrations emphasize the differences outlined in the text: The cat's eyes vary from gray, black and white to a vivid, menacing green, and her claws and teeth are prominently featured on the "Cat Hyde" pages, while "Puss Jekyll" is shown in nonthreatening poses. Whether or not young listeners are familiar with the origin of her names, the evocation of the two sides of a familiar and beloved pet will resonate. (Picture book. 4-7)
From the Publisher

“A great book . . . This is EXACTLY the kind of writing, in a 'cat' book for children, that people should be producing.” — The Book Hive
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847803696
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Joyce Dunbar was born and brought up in Lincolnshire. She taught English for 20 years before becoming a full-time writer. Her books for children include This is the Star, which became a world-wide best-seller, and Mundo and the Weatherchild, which was runner-up for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award. The popular Mouse and Mole series has been animated for television with the voices of Alan Bennett and Richard Briers. She lives in Norwich, U.K. Jill Barton has always loved drawing and children’s books, but didn’t pursue this passion as a career for many years. At the age of 44, having married and brought up three children, she enrolled on a degree in illustration. She graduated in 1988 and hasn’t looked back since. She's illustrated many best-selling books for children and received numerous awards for her work. She now has five grandchildren, and lives and works in Torquay, Devon, U.K.
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