Gr 2-4-Originally published in French in 1998, this Spanish version has been adeptly adapted. That hip cat, Detective John Chatterton, is back, this time hired by distraught parents to keep their daughter from pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. The suave, raincoat-clad black cat detective decides this an easy gig, given the paucity of spinning wheels around. He follows the girl on her daily route through a fascinating streetscape of humans and animals, all dressed in vintage 1940s garb, and watches in growing horror as she enters an antiques store. He can't stop her from fulfilling her destiny, but he is able to fight the effects of the spell and saves the day when he locates her prince charming. Crisply drawn illustrations in nostalgic tones and humorous details abound. Pages are sometimes broken into panels of varying sizes and, at other times, filled in their entirety. The text is presented in a typewriterlike font approximating the look of an old-fashioned detective novel. Children will enjoy the highly stylized look of this story, as well as the easy commingling of human and animal characters. Although the dialog doesn't quite come up to the snappy Thin Man standards set in the earlier Chatterton books, this is a good selection for teacher-directed reading, especially when combined with other, more traditional versions of the same folk tale. Recommended for schools and bookstores, as well as public library collections.
Maria Otero-Boisvert, "Criticas" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.