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The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat    by Lynne Berry & Luke LaMarca order for
Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat
by Lynne Berry
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I love cats, but even the most fervent catlover gets frustrated by their independence at times. I had to chuckle at the witch's familiar who stars in The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, a story told by Lynne Berry in rhymes, and illustrated in bold, edgy (and funny) black and white by Luke LaMarca.

It reminded me somewhat of The Little Red Hen, as Witch keeps asking Cat to do things for her, but Cat is always otherwise occupied, as when she asks for her hat: '"Cat?" said Witch. / "Purr?" said Cat. / "Hat!" said Witch. / "GRRRRR," said Cat. / And that was the end of that.' On it goes through all kinds of witchy requests, with the pointy-hatted, warty-nosed, and surprisingly tolerant lady ending each encounter by doing it herself, while exclaiming '"DRAT THAT CAT!"'

Kids will love the repetition, join in on the refrains, enjoy spotting Cat - and a well-behaved Rat - in each picture, seeing what mischief Cat's up to, and anticipating what will happen to him. Want to know? Read this hilarious picture book and find out for yourself.

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