What Cats Want for Christmas (Sleeping Bear Holiday Series)by Kandy Radzinski
A collection of cats' rhyming letters to Santa, in which they request such favorite items as a dish of fish and some fleas for the neighbor's dog.
Children's Literature - Claudia MillsFourteen exquisitely rendered cats present their Christmas wish lists to Santa. Each note (unfortunately) rhymes, and while some of the rhymes are natural and unforced ("I would like a big silver dish filled with little silver fish"), others serve as an object lesson for why so many children's book editors refuse to look at rhyming picture book texts ("I think I'd look better with a curly perm to cover the effects of ringworm"). Many of the notes highlight the bloodthirstiness of cats (their lust for birds or fish) and their hatred of dogs (though it is doubtful that young readers will recognize the words "Pomeranian" and "Pekinese"). While the final note to Santa ("I'm tired of being all alone. Can you find someone to love me and give me a home?") provides a suitably heartwarming conclusion to the collection, the overall tone of the "gimme" notes is undeniably unpleasant. But, in compensation, Radzinksi's art is a visual feast. Each page has gorgeous Jan-Brett-style borders, festooned with whimsical cat gingerbread cookies, cat snowmen, and ribbons and garlands galore. Every hair and whisker of the preening felines is meticulously depicted. Best is the title page, which features a gingerbread mouse with one foot nibbled off. Overall, the combination of weak text and sumptuous art is likely to appeal more to adult cat fanciers than to children seeking a satisfying holiday read-aloud.
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