Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Melanie Watt
Picture Book  Series
For ages 5 to 7
Kids Can Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-1554531400

There once was a mouse who lived in a charming little house in the country. At least that is how the story is supposed to go. The problem is that Chester the cat is on the loose and he has a red marker in his paw. Chester is determined that this story should not be about a mouse at all. Instead the story should be all about him, Chester the cat. So he does his best to ambush the story. Of course Melanie, the author and illustrator of the mouse story, is determined to write her mouse story. So, she does her best to get rid of Chester.

Chester is a wily fellow though and he is not easy to remove from the pages. Every time Melanie tries to write and illustrate him away, he makes a comeback. Finally there is a showdown between the cat and his human. They come to an impasse and we begin to wonder whether this book is every going to be finished. But Melanie seems to give in to her stubborn feline companion. She agrees to give Chester his own story. Can it be true? Is Chester really going to have his dream come true at last?

If you are looking for a conventional picture book then this is not the book for you. You are not going to have a normal little story which unfolds in a normal way. Instead you are going to have a battle of pens and wits and it will be utterly delightful and full of surprises. Melanie Watt’s illustrations are quite charming and her handling of this unique tale is wonderfully creative. Chester is deliciously naughty, willful, and perfectly cat-like. Bravo Chester!