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I Want a Cat!


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A hilarious story that will appeal to any child who has ever tried to coax reluctant parents into buying them a pet.

About the Author

Tony Ross has illustrated over 800 books, which are published all over the world. Dr Xargle's Book of Earth Tiggers was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and Tadpole's Promise won the Silver medal in the Smaries Prize 2003. He was the British choice for the Andersen Medal 2004. The Nanny Goat's Kid was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2010. A major animated series of Tony Ross's Little Princess is curently showing on Channel 5's Milkshake. He lives in Oxfordshire.


Jessy's parents refuse to get her a cat, so she hits on a bright idea: she'll make herself a cat suit, wear it everywhere, and raise hell (as only a cat could) until her request is granted. `` `I'm going to be the cat in this house,' she purred.'' Accordingly, Jessy goes to school in her cat suit (and is chased by a dog); she perches on top of the blackboard in class, and cannot be coaxed down (not even by a saucer of milk); at a restaurant, she climbs under the table to dine on her fish; and is finally reduced to pleading her case by howling late at night in the backyard. Neighbors and parents object, and a kitten is quickly provided, but Jessy's taste of success spurs her on to demand a dog. The strength of the story lies in Ross's color illustrations, full of wind, light, shadow, movement and whimsy. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)

"A simple story effectively illustrated, capturing all the contrariness of small children whose most passionate desires are often thwarted by adults." * Sunday Times *
"Great stuff this, with much fun to be shared equally between children and parents." * Junior Bookshelf *
"Ideal for three to seven-year-olds." * Parents *
"This 1989 book's reissue is worth mentioning. The text and illustrations are in a coloured pencil style that matched the irrepressible character of Jessy." * Nursery World *

PreS-Gr 3-- Jessy wants a cat more than anything else in the world, but her parents will only give her toy cats. Jessy rebels by stubbornly dressing up in a white cat suit which she states defiantly will not come off until she gets a real live cat of her own. She sleeps curled up on her bedroom floor and then meanders over to stand on the neighbors' garden wall, howling at the moon, ``I want a cat!'' Of course, the neighbors think it's a great idea--give the kid a cat so she'll stop acting like one. Finally her father goes to the pet shop to choose a cat, but when he returns, Jessy meets him at the door dressed up in a homemade dog suit yelling ``Woof! Woof! . . . I want. . . .'' Ross' crayon-like illustrations add an effective touch of wry humor, bringing readers closer to Jessy and her determined reaction to her parents' refusal to grant her request. The fact that her actions are not reflective of bad behavior, but simply her lighthearted attempt not to give up and to drive her point home makes Jessy even more likeable. A funny, delightful story and a good read-aloud choice. --Leslie Barban, Richland County Public Library, Columbia, S.C.

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