Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mr. Putter & Tabby Write the Book

Mr. Putter & Tabby Write the Book

Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator:  Arthur Howard 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Harcourt Children's Books, 2004   ISBN: 978-0152002411

It is a cold and snowy winter and Mr. Putter and Tabby have to stay indoors. Mr. Putter and his feline companion don’t mind this at all though because they love sitting in a comfy chair dozing in front of a crackling fire. One indoor day Mr. Putter gets a marvelous idea – he decides to write a book. He has always wanted to write a mystery novel and Mr. Putter cannot help feeling that this is the perfect time for such a project. Of course writing a book is complicated. After figuring out what the title is going to be Mr. Putter decides he needs a snack – a process which takes four hours and which quite wears Mr. Putter out.

Indeed Mr. Putter soon discovers that writing is not easy because there are always distractions. There are rabbits to look at, memories to mull over, things to cook, chairs to move. In the end all Mr. Putter manages to do is to write a piece called “Good Things.” Mr. Putter cannot help feeling disappointed that he didn’t manage to write his novel but his wise neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, soon puts things into perspective.

Though he may have creaky bones and quiet ways, Mr. Putter’s life is far from boring and unadventurous. The old fellow is happy to explore pastures new if he can do it from the comfort of his favorite chair. Many of us will sympathize with the man whose dream somehow takes an unexpected turn. In addition it is encouraging to see that Mr. Putter is not the kind of person to be easily discouraged.

This warm and thoughtful little story once again shows her readers that Cynthia Rylant is a versatile writer and a sensitive and astute student of human nature.

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