When Chicken starts his own housekeeping business, he hires Cat to help him out. It's tough going at first. No matter how hard Cat tries, he is clumsy and keeps making mistakes, which causes Chicken to be upset and Cat very sad. Finally Cat listens to his inner-species calling when he bravely catches a mouse thief. The two friends make amends and decide to start a brand-new business called Chicken and Cat's Housekeeping and Mousecatching Services. This story about friendship and listening to one's heart is perfect for friends new or old.
In this second wordless tale about this duo, Chicken recruits Cat to help with his housecleaning business, but Cat doesn't do so well. He breaks a glass, overdoes the laundry detergent, knocks over a bucket of water and takes a bite out of a houseplant-in front of the homeowner. As he sits glumly on the front stoop, Cat's talents are made evident when he foils a mouse-on-ladybug purse snatching, earning the praise of the neighborhood and making the front page of the Daily News. ("Cat Saves the Day!" shouts the headline. " 'The best,' says pal," continues the subhead.) Varon's sensitivity for the feelings of her characters-expertly projected through their gangly limbs and expressive googly eyes-gives the story depth, while the full-bleed spreads and panels jump from the page like movie stills. The tension between Chicken's brisk efficiency and Cat's well-intentioned but flawed efforts is not unlike that between assertive parents and distractible children; young readers will see themselves in the pet-loving dreamer, Cat, and revel in his moment of triumph. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.