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Tom's Tweet
     

Tom's Tweet

4.5 4
by Jill Esbaum, Dan Santat (Illustrator)
 

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Tom is on the hunt for a tasty morning treat when he spies a flip-flapping, fluttery bird just there for the taking. Hello, breakfast! But little Tweet with his big black button eyes is too skinny to eat. Tom is determined to not get involved, but he can't just leave Tweet there . . . frightened, unhappy, alone. Consarn it! It's just Tom's luck to get stuck with a

Overview

Tom is on the hunt for a tasty morning treat when he spies a flip-flapping, fluttery bird just there for the taking. Hello, breakfast! But little Tweet with his big black button eyes is too skinny to eat. Tom is determined to not get involved, but he can't just leave Tweet there . . . frightened, unhappy, alone. Consarn it! It's just Tom's luck to get stuck with a Tweet!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Going against his nature, a bullying tomcat takes pity on a baby bird in this sweet-natured singsong rhyme. When Tom spies a brown chick lost on the lawn, he snarls, “Hello, breakfast.” Upon closer inspection, though, he declares, “Dadburn it!... You’re too skinny to eat,” and a closeup shows the bird’s tearful eyes and quivering orange beak. (Alluding to old Warner Bros. cartoons, Esbaum reintroduces creative curses like “Dagnabbit” and “Tarnation.”) Gently holding the baby by its head feathers and enduring the desperate assaults of “Mama Tweet,” Tom tries to return his “tweet” to the nest; when that fails, he attempts to build the bird a nest and even digs for worms and pre-chews them for his adoptee. Finally, when the bird curls up to him “like an unwanted burr.... from deep down in his chest came a... purrrrr.” Using digital media that suggest a magic marker-watercolor combination, Santat (The Secret Life of Walter Kitty) creates chiaroscuro illustrations of the beefy tabby and slender bird that draw out the humor of Esbaum’s (Stanza) portrait of Tom as a tough guy done in by cuteness. Ages 5–8. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"Totally tweet-rific. . . . Esbaum’s tweet tale will have listeners in stitches (especially the wormy bits), and Santat’s Photoshopped cartoon illustrations of bulky Tom and the goggle-eyed tweets are as expressive as they are goofy." —Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A tweet's anything but a tasty treat for fat Tom cat when his big heart gets him in trouble. After a storm, Tom finds a dazed tweet under a tree. When he decides the baby bird is too scrawny to snack on, Tom turns tail…but it looks so frightened! " ‘I will not take you back to your nest,' Tom declared. / But the thing blink-blink-blinked, and…egad! / Tom was half up the tree with the poor little tyke / when its mama showed up… / fighting mad!" Tom (tweet still grasped in his teeth) escapes Mama Bird (by running through rose bushes--ouch!), but what next? Building a nest doesn't quiet tweet's tweets. Digging worms doesn't help. Chewing the worms up (gulp!) and letting it snuggle does. When Mama flies off to get food, Tom gets tweet back in the nest; but he misses his wee new buddy all night. The next day, tweet's on the ground again. "When Mama Tweet saw that old Tom was a softie, / her ‘sorry' was long (and earsplitting). / And to prove that she trusted him, / really and truly, / she gave him a job… // tweety-sitting." Esbaum's tweet tale will have listeners in stitches (especially the wormy bits), and Santat's Photoshopped cartoon illustrations of bulky Tom and the goggle-eyed tweets are as expressive as they are goofy. Totally tweet-rific. (Picture book. 3-8)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Move over Sylvester and Tweety Bird: here is an odd couple that satisfies. Tom, a rather portly cat, spies a baby bird that he thinks will make a delicious treat. Disappointed by its lack of mass ("'Dadburn it!' said Tom. 'You're too skinny to eat'"), he turns tail in search of something more substantial. But little Tweet's eyes fill with tears-not from fright, but from loneliness. And that's when readers discover that Tom is a bit of a softie. Soon, instead of eating Tweet, he's trying to return the youngster to its nest. When Mama Tweet's vigorous attacks prevent him from reaching it, he builds a new one for the little bird. And readers know that it's love when Tom catches a worm for Tweet's dinner and feeds it to the little bird by mouth. This is a book with tongue-twisting dialogue but a smooth cadence. While Tweet has nothing to say other than, well, "tweet," Tom's explosive "tarnations" and "egads" reveal a character whose meow is worse than his might. The feline's gargantuan figure, when compared to the scraggly Tweet, is a visual dynamic used for laughs throughout the book. And when the images are reversed, and readers are treated to a close-up of the distraught bird, with Tom's backside reflected in his eyes, getting smaller as he stalks away, the contrast between the two characters makes the eventual realization of the friendship all the sweeter. Tom's Tweet is a lot of fun and a joy to read.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375851711
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
11/08/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,325,733
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

JILL ESBAUM is the award-winning author of several books for young readers, including Stanza, To the Big Top, Estelle Takes a Bath, and Ste-e-e-e-eamboat A-Comin'!. She lives on a farm near Dixon, Iowa, with her husband and family. She loves visiting schools, as well as teaching adults how to write for children in numerous classes and workshops.

DAN SANTAT is the illustrator of The Secret Life of Walter Kitty by Barbara Jean Hicks, Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo by Ayun Halliday, Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer, the Otto Undercover books by Rhea Perlman, and Oh No (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Burnett. He is also the creator of Disney's animated hit The Replacements, and lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, a rabbit, a bird, and one cat.

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