Peter Collington, recognized master of wordless picture books, proves in this funny feline fantasy that he is just as entertaining with words and pictures.
Tibs, the orange tabby hero of Clever Cat, knows that being the cat of a busy working family means patiently waiting around a lot--to be let out, to be let in, to be fed. So one day Tibs takes matters into his own paws. To the amazement of his family, he opens up a can of cat food and serves himself. Soon he's a cat about town, with a set of house keys to come and go as he pleases and the use of Mrs. Ford's bank card to buy his own food--and a few other things that tickle his fancy. He regards the other kitties in the neighborhood, snoozing in the sun
all day, and thinks, What a bore! But when Mrs. Ford's monthly bank statement arrives, suddenly this clever cat must earn his keep, and Tibs begins to wonder if he's too smart for his own good.
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"Every morning Tibs waited by his front door. And waited... And waited... And waited... And waited..." until finally someone notices him and begrudgingly lets him inside, where he has to wait some more before getting his breakfast. Things proceed in this manner for a long time, until finally one day the orange tabby becomes fed up with all this waiting around. Much to his human family's astonishment, he climbs to the cupboard, gets down his own cat food, and opens the can with a can opener. Impressed (and somewhat relieved), the Ford family soon gives Tibs carte blanche around town. He shops with the family credit card, hangs out in cafés, goes to movies, plays tennis--until the Fords get their monthly bank statement. It's time for Tibs to earn his keep. And suddenly, Tibs isn't sure his cleverness is such a boon after all.
Feline fans--especially older ones--will laugh out loud at this not-so-hard-to-believe fantasy. Most cat owners have wondered at times just how helpless Fluffy really is. Peter Collington's adroitness matches that of Tibs, especially in his priceless illustrations of the cat opening his first can, and strolling by the "less gifted" cats on the stoop. (Ages 6 and older) --Emilie CoulterAbout the Author:
Peter Collington, winner of the 1994 Bologna Book Fair Honor Award, is the author of The Angel and the Soldier Boy, On Christmas Eve, and A Small Miracle.
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