Dear Tabby

K-Gr 3—From her Dumpster on Straye Street Alley, Tabby D. Cat dispenses advice and wisdom to the troubled animals of Critterville. From Boots Whitepaw, who is being smothered with affection by an indulgent child owner, to Betty Bear, who has left the Dingaling Sisters' Traveling Circus after a spat with her brother, Tabby tries to guide her correspondents in their search for happiness. This epistolary picture book is attractive and easy to read, sometimes presenting the writers of the letters in the illustrations, and sometimes showing Tabby as she formulates her responses. Tabby follows her own advice, and her well-being is orchestrated through machinations and common sense, as she shines a light on how a person (or parrot, or skunk, or cat) can make her own happiness. It is a positive message, although the way it comes about might surprise some readers. This book is well suited for one-on-one sharing, with plenty of opportunity for trying on different voices. It would also serve as a fun recommendation for reluctant early elementary readers who still prefer picture books to chapter books.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Cat columnist Tabby attempts to help a lovesick skunk, a loquacious parrot, and other animals who write letters soliciting her advice. This is one of those punning, winking, mildly amusing kids' books that adults are meant to read on a different level ("Trying to kick the catnip habit?"). Spreads foreground the text's multiple fonts and Roberts's flourish-y illustrations.

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