Fear the Fine! Splat the Cat and the Late Library Book by Rob Scotton and Robert Eberz
"IT'S TIME TO GO THROUGH YOUR CLOSET AND DONATE THE THINGS THAT YOU DON'T NEED ANYMORE TO KIDS WHO DO," HIS MOM HAD SAID.
SPLAT THOUGHT THAT WAS A GREAT IDEA.
And at the time, Splat did think it was a good idea.
But in the big round-up of giveaways, he realizes that his late library book has gone missing.
Splat the Cat is panicking. He feels terrible, and it is all his fault. He loved the book, Tiger Tales by Ben Gall, so much that he sort of accidentally on purpose hid the book behind something in his closet. And now it is overdue. And he can't find it!
"WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?" WORRIED SPLAT. "THE LATE FINE WILL BE GINORMOUS!
WHAT WILL THEY DO TO ME? WILL THEY SEND ME TO JAIL?"
Splat envisages himself in prison stripes incarcerated in the city jail or walking the plank, with a cutlass-wielding librarian prodding him with a vengeance.
Splat shakes his piggy bank, hoping to find enough money to pay for the book, but all he has is one puny quarter. Oblivious to Splat's fears, his family loads up the giveaways. They drop off the clothes at the shelter and then head for the next stop, with Splat still anguishing over his guilt in the back seat.
"THE BOOKS CAN GO TO THE PUBLIC LIBRARY," SAID DAD.
"THEY'RE HAVING A BOOK DRIVE. PEOPLE DON'T ALWAYS RETURN BOOKS THEY CHECK OUT."
No joke, thinks Splat, steeling himself to face Mrs. Sardino, the librarian.
But scofflaw Splat is in luck this time. As young readers are likely to have guessed by this point, the missing book turns out to be in the box of giveaways that his parents unpack at the library, in the latest in Rob Scotten's easy reader series, Splat the Cat and the Late Library Book (Harper Festival, 2016). Scat is quite a cat, and artist Scotten's funny and familiar worrywort character helps ease kids through the anxieties of first grade life just as Marc Brown's Arthur Adventures series has done for second and third graders. With brief text, comic thought balloons which provide cues to the narrative, this one is inexpensive, great for sharing, and a rather easy read for beginning readers.