Sunday, October 12, 2008

"If You Give A Mouse a Sequel....: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake: by Laura Numeroff

Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond hit the big time in 1985 with their first book in a best-selling picture book series, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (If You Give...). Since then, that persistent mouse has baked his own cookies, gone to the movies, gone to school, and celebrated Christmas, A pig and a moose have been given assorted sweets as well, and still the pastries keep appearing, as in Numeroff's and Bonds' brand-new entry, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake (If You Give... Books)

Here Cat, a perky tuxedo kitty who has been a frequent onlooker in earlier sequels, gets his first solo chance as protagonist. A dutifully plaid-clad blonde girl begins by plying her pet with a pink cupcake, which the kitty declines to eat without lots of sprinkles. Cat wields the shaker wildly, and the scattered sprinkles remind him that he'd love a trip to the nearest sandy beach. Equipped with an over-sized pair of swim trunks, Cat and girl are off and running in a sequence of unforeseen consequences familiar to readers of this series.

When Cat's collected seashells prove too heavy, Cat is off to build more muscle at the gym, where he tries out treadmill, barbells, and karate lessons before he heads to the park for some healthy outdoor exercise. The park is perfect for rowing and rock climbing and merry-go-round riding, which reminds him of animals, taking them both into the science museum to dawdle through the dinosaur display and hang out at the hall of apes.

Back home, Cat shakes the sand from the beach out of his shoes, and of course, the sand reminds him of sprinkles, which means it's time for--(you guessed it) another cupcake!

Although Cat's progressions through the plot seem less inevitable than those in the earlier books, the charming illustrations and cumulative sequencing make this book sure to be a favorite to fans of the other books in the series. And wait--THERE'S MORE! A new book in the If You Give series, If You Give a Bear a Brownie (If You Give...), is forthcoming early in January of 2009.

If you give a kid a great preschool picture book, he's going to want--all the sequels (and perhaps a cupcake--with sprinkles)!



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