Tuesday, July 21

Oldies: Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea

Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea
Written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-0152009014
Publisher: HMH Books
Date of publication: March 30, 1994
Age: Grades K - 3

Themes: old age, friendship, pets, cats

Mr. Putter lives all alone in a big white house with a porch. He has no one to share his English muffins. He has no one to share his tea. He has no one to listen to his stories. And he has the most wonderful stories to tell. Mr. Putter is tired of living alone. He wants company. But company is hard to find. And then he meets Tabby...

Even though the first book in the series was written 20 years ago, this was my first time picking up a Mr. Putter & Tabby book. Which is a real shame, seeing as it is a continuing series and the most recent picked up a Geisel Honor award this year. But back to reviewing this book...

It made me laugh out loud (like, quite loudly). It made me feel sappy. It made me appreciate the simple things. I thought it was wonderful and I loved it. But these are all my own personal reactions. As for why I didn't just give the book a straight-up 5-star rating was that I have a bit of trouble imagining it being quite as enjoyed by younger readers. This first book in the series is about, quite frankly, a lonely old man. Which isn't quite the action-driven plot needed capture a young or reluctant reader. I laughed at the old-man jokes—will kids? I don't know.

The characters are fun and believable. I do appreciate the simple text (no crazy vocabulary) and small chapters. The ultimate friendship created and humor shared make it something I would recommend, though I wouldn't be offended if every kid didn't love it. So it's up to the reader.

Readalikes include Rylant's other early chapter books about pet adventures: Henry & Mudge, and Annie & Snowball.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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