by Julia Dweck
Erika LeBarre, illustrator
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Press Release: When Mandy adopts the best cat at the shelter, she doesn’t realize it has a big secret and an even bigger personality. Featuring rhyming text and gorgeous illustrations, this picture book is an adventure for all cat lovers.
First Sentence: The room was filled with friendly cats.
What the Story is About: Mandy went to her local pound to look at cats. There, she found Lucy, an orange cat that did not look more special than the other cats. Mandy quickly realized how different Lucy really was. Lucy had a special talent that no other cat—that we know of—can do: she changes the color of her fur to match her attitude. Lucy was a chameleon! Because Lucy liked to turn the color blue, more than any other did, Mandy changed her name to Blucy (blue + Lucy).
Blucy was also a stubborn cat. She refused to learn how to sit, would not eat, ordinary cat food or drink milk, hated pudding, and liked to blend in with her surroundings so Mandy has trouble finding her. There are things that Blucy does love. Blue jello made a great place to lie, as did Forget-Me-Not flowers and blue-speckled Robin’s eyes. Unlike most cats, Blucy liked to swim and draw. Still, Mandy had lost control of her new kitty. She needs take control of Blucy, but how?
What I thought: Blucy is a cute story for kids and anyone who loves cats. The idea of a cat that can change her color is quite imaginative. Blucy can “changed to match her attitude.” It would have been fun to watch Blucy’s fur change into more than one color. A rainbow of colors is not necessary, but matching something other than blue—all the time—would have been refreshing. I love all the mischief Blucy gets into, most of which is typical cat behavior. Many readers will see their own kitties in Blucy.
Cats are notoriously stubborn and Blucy is no exception. She will not obey commands, as Mandy quickly discovered, is a picky eater, refuses to come when called, and generally rules the relationship. Ms. Dweck gets these cat traits perfectly. For fun, Blucy is a swimmer—cats usually hate water—and swims using doggy strokes. The humor is gentle and well timed.
The illustrations are beautiful, detail Blucy’s antics perfectly, and are, well, very blue. The only thing I did not like is every illustration being a close-up. Adding images from a different viewpoint, mainly one with some distance, would have given the eyes a break. Still, kids will love this big blue cat with the adorable pink nose.
I think the ending is rather simplistic, but the story does not contain a message, deal with an issue, or model a behavior. Blucy is a fun picture book for kids to enjoy, and they will love Blucy. They can laugh—will belly laugh—at Blucy. Kids will also be amused with the list of “Amazing (But True) Cat Facts in the back of the book.
Blucy is a fun picture book for any time of the day. It would not surprise me to learn the name Blucy is number one for cats in 2014. Blucy has a rhyming text that rolls off your tongue with ease. Parents will enjoy reading this story when their child asks repeatedly to hear Blucy’s story. Best of all, Blucy was adopted from a pound, not bought at a pet store where 99% of animals come from “puppy mills.” Ms. Dweck has once again entertained and delighted me with her fun, energetic stories that always find my funny bone.
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-RELEASE PURCHASE (Amazon offering 20% discount)
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Released Date is August 13, 2013
Ages: 4 to 8
© 2013 by xist Publishing, used with permission
Text: Copyright © 2013 by Julia Dweck
Illustrations: Copyright © 2013 by Erika LeBarren
reviewed in a digital format
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