• Title: Mattie's Little Possum Pet
  • Author: Betsy Lewin, Ida Luttrell
  • Released: 1993-09-30
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 1
  • ISBN: 0689317867
  • ISBN13: 978-0689317866
  • ASIN: 0689317867
From Publishers Weekly Luttrell ( Be Nice to Marilyn ) and Lewin ( Araminta's Paint Box ) prove that looks can deceive in this homespun tale. "One bright, leaf-tumbling morning," lanky farmer Mattie looks in on her chickens, then goes to pick persimmons with her dog Howler and cat Prowler. On their way into the woods, the three find a possum, belly-up. Mattie takes pity on the spiky-haired critter, never realizing that it's just, well, playing possum. The "varmint" causes trouble, and Howler and Prowler take the blame until Mattie learns the truth. Luttrell's lively narrative includes some colorful phrases (when the pink-tailed miscreant invades the henhouse, Mattie's chickens exclaim, "A woolly-hopper egg popper!"). Lewin makes skillful use of gestural outlines and sparingly applied watercolors: Mattie's impish face shows that she's easygoing but strong-willed, Howler's and Prowler's eyes communicate feelings from contentment to exasperation, and the possum's smirk betrays its sneakiness. With one flaw--the oft-mentioned persimmons never appear--the authors craft an animated, expressively illustrated work. Too bad they left out the recipe for possum pie. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews This may be Mattie's story, but her cat (Prowler) and dog (Howler) swipe it right out from under her nose. When Mattie takes in an apparently ailing possum and sees only its better nature, Prowler and Howler become victims of its true varmint self. Anyone who's ever been unjustly accused will especially love it--the possum's comeuppance is purely beautiful, with the pets finding themselves back in favor, appreciated as never before. Lewin's expressive illustrations are bravely sketchy, allowing the hook of an eyebrow or the line of a mouth to convey comic overtones; Prowler playing dead is a priceless portrait of a cat driven to desperate measures. Folksy in language, spirited in delivery, a winning read-aloud or -alone that should become a story-hour favorite. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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