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Tonks, Tatiana
Illustrated by Carlos Freire Richmond Hill (Ont.), Scholastic Canada, 1992.22pp, paper, $4.95, ISBN 0-590-73759-7. CIP.

Kindergarten to Grade 2/Ages 5 to 7

Reviewed by Brenda Partridge

Volume 21 Number 1
1993 January

Patrick is portrayed as a good boy, "almost like an angel," who is led astray by his mischievous, scheming cat, Murphy. Much against his initial better judgement, Patrick is encouraged to peek at his presents, climb trees, draw on walls, and raid the leftover desserts. When Patrick's birthday arrives, he uses his willpower to ignore Murphy's suggestions and to stay out of trouble. Murphy abandons the new "strong" Patrick and succeeds in tempting Patrick's dad not to follow instructions. However, Patrick saves his dad, and at the end of the story the reader is led to believe that Murphy's next victim may be the mom.

For her first book, Tatiana Tonks has succeeded in creating a story that appeals to younger children. The children are able to relate to what it is like to be tempted and to judge incorrectly between good and bad. They enjoy the possibility of adults getting into trouble and being rescued by a youth.

My grade 1 classes commented favourably on the large illustrations, which emphasize the mischievousness of the cat. Carlos Freire, Tonks' father, captures the true character of Murphy with his comical drawings. The cat's facial expressions tell the whole story. Freire's previous books include 10 for Dinner and I Said to Sam. There is an appropriate balance of printed word and framed drawings.

I would certainly recommend this book for children in Kindergarten to grade 2.

Brenda Partridge is a library-resource teacher at Percy Centennial Public School in Warkworth, Ontario
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