restricted access Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood (review)
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Reviewed by
Underwood, Deborah. Here Comes the Easter Cat; illus. by Claudia Rueda. Dial, 2014. [80p]. ISBN 978-0-8037-3939-0 $16.99 Reviewed from galleys R* 5-7 yrs.

An unseen narrator converses with a disgruntled cat, who holds up his end of the communication with signs, props, and with facial expressions, about the cat’s jealousy of the Easter Bunny’s popularity. When the narrator suggests that the cat become “the Easter Cat” and hand out goodies as well, the cat takes to the notion, planning to travel by motorcycle in order to beat the Easter Bunny at finishing his rounds and to wear a sparkly suit and top hat to trump the E. B.’s vest ensemble. Before the cat can zoom off, however, the Easter Bunny himself kindly shows up with a chocolate egg for the cat. The Easter Bunny’s evident tiredness inspires Cat to add a sidecar to his motorcycle, allowing the bunny to nap while Cat delivers the rest of the eggs. In each spread, Underwood’s streamlined text, humorous in its slightly parental tone, faces Rueda’s ink and colored pencil drawings. Cat’s nonverbal communication will intrigue the same kids who like cracking the picture-talk code of Runton’s Owl and Wormy books; Cat’s signs and facial expressions are cheekily amusing, sometimes contradicting the narrator (he holds up a poster of hearts while sticking out his tongue in disgust as the narrator states, “Well, of course everyone loves the Easter Bunny”). Pair this with Shea’s Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great (BCCB 7/13) for a silly story session about jealousy, add it to an Easter or cat storytime lineup, or tuck it into a cat-lover’s Easter basket.