Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Can't catch me! by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Simona Ciraolo

This book is a hilarious take on the classic gingerbread man story with, to my delight, a positively edible ending. Heh.

Jake the mouse, a little gray and pink blur with a smirk and a high turn of speed, is the fastest mouse in the world. He leads Old Tom on a merry dance then sets out to prove his speed. And he does, outrunning a fox, wolf, and bear, until he goes right around and ends up back home. And there's Old Tom, too exhausted to run, practically starving to death right on the porch step, just waiting for Jake to show off his speed, kick his tail, and get up close and personal to prove just how fa....er, delicious he is!

As you can guess, there's a surprise ending - turns out being fast is fine, but there's nothing to replace a clever cat! Jake's mean expressions will keep kids rooting for something to finally eat the little stinker and who better than the determined - and clever - orange tom cat? I introduced Ciraolo's art to our patrons in the sweet and prickly Hug Me and they're sure to enjoy her splashy colors and the frustration of the various animals and they try to chase down zippy little Jake, who just can't resist taunting and teasing them until it's too late.

Verdict: The story is brisk and moves quickly, making it a fun storytime read (as long as your patrons aren't likely to get too upset over the gobbling up of a troublesome little mouse!). A fun addition to storytime, especially if you include it in a gingerbread man storytime to showcase the many different takes on the classic story.

ISBN: 9780763694968; Published November 2017 by Candlewick; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

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