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Clever Mistress Fox outwits the wolf, the bear, the boar, and the hare as she schemes to feed her husband, Mister Cat-and-a-half, in this version of a Ukrainian folktale
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PreSchool-Grade 3 When the mouse catcher in the royal kitchen finds that his enjoyment of the cushy life overpowers his desire to catch mice, he finds himself out of a job and abandoned in the forest. A she-fox comes along and takes him home to be her husband. She decides that a dinner would be the perfect welcome for her new husband. Because the wolf, the bear, the boar, and the hare have never before seen a cat, they are eager to extend their hospitality but are somewhat intimidated by their guest, so they set the table and hide. Mister Cat-and-a-half eats his fill, then precipitates a hilarious chain of events that leaves the cat sated and the other animals terrified of him. As a story, ``The Cat Who Became Head Forester,'' the version of this trickster tale found in Arthur Ransome's Old Peter's Russian Tales (Nelson, 1916; o.p.), is much better. Ransome has a better voice and ear for rhythm, and his is the livelier telling. Fortunately, however, the sparkle that is absent in Pevear's text is provided in Rayevsky's illustrations. His full-color paintings are funny and expressive. Mister Cat-and-a-half looks like a pudding-bag tied in the middle, with hat askew and buttons undone. Mistress Fox is willowy, and wears the primmest of bonnets. Besides his delicious sense of the comic, Rayevsky uses a distinctly theatrical sense of design. Lots of white space and sparse background detail serve to heighten the broad comic presentation. The illustrations carry the text along in a way that makes the book seem better than it really is. It's a pity that Pevear does not have an ear in the same way that Rayevsky has an eye. Christina Olson, Beverly Hills Public Library
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Andersen Press Ltd 1987-08-01, 1987. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Slight shelf wear otherwise fine. Book. Seller Inventory # 095420-3
Book Description Andersen Press, London, 1987. Hard Cover. Condition: Very Good. Robert Rayevsky (illustrator). First UK. Laminated colour pictorial boards, illustrated in colour by ROBERT RAYEVSKY, front flyleaf slightly rippled, vg. 4to, (32pp). Seller Inventory # 10C237