BIG CAT. Written and illustrated by Emma Lazell. Pavilion. $16.95.
A little girl and her grandmother are busy looking for Grandma’s lost glasses when a new cat arrives on the scene. Grandma, who can’t see without her glasses, thinks the new cat is “the cutest, prettiest, most handsome kitty cat,” not realizing that the cat is actually a tiger! Her many other cats aren’t too sure about the new arrival and are chagrined when no neighbors claim the cat and it stays. Soon it is eating them out of house and home. While Grandma waits for her new glasses to come, the little girl has lots and lots of fun with her new friend.
This book is reminiscent of Roger Duvoisin’s THE HAPPY LION with its theme of unusual friendships. Both feature cartoon-style animals with expressive eyes and smiles, though Lazell uses thicker line, lots of squiggles, and joyful colors. Children should enjoy pouring over details like a newspaper with headlines reading “Missing Tiger” and “Pet Food Shortage” and Grandma looking rather oblivious. Then the doorbell rings, revealing the tiger’s mother and father. They have found Grandma’s glasses while out looking for their lost child. The tigers hug each other in a delighted reunion. Grandma puts her glasses on and imagine her surprise! The last page reveals whether she learned anything from this experience.