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Dick Whittington And His Cat by Margaret Hodges Book


From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3 In this spare retelling of the British legend, the narrative keeps buoyant with droll dialogue. The humorous illustrations, created with colorful inks and gouache, enhance the story with expressive faces and movement that delight the eye: a person wearing a mask and teetering on stilts, a dog nipping at the feet of an agitated juggler, a young girl dancing with a tambourine. Period detail includes short tunics, long cloaks, pointed shoes, timber-framed houses, thatched roofs, and mullion windows. The dramatically posed landscapes and people are energized by some wavy and slightly distorted perspectives: a man staring out a window, his head at a seemingly impossible angle, and an enlarged cat's head emerging at the end of Dick's bed to view some fleeing mice. However, some of the split-screen illustrations are less effective because they blend into one another in a busy, confused whole. Marcia Brown's classic retelling of the story (Scribner's, 1950) sets a high standard; nevertheless, Hodges's sprightly retelling is a worthy addition to Dick Whittington lore. Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA
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