Old Robert and the Sea-Silly Cats

illus. by Jan Jutte. unpaged. Philomel. Apr. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-399-25430-7. LC number unavailable.
PreS-Gr 2—Old Robert has his life and possessions in perfect order, sailing the sea by day and resting safe in a slip at night. Then one night a cat dancing on the dock asks to come aboard his boat. At first, the sailor is resistant to change but gives in. Then two more talented cats ask to join him, one playing a ukulele and the other a juggler. As the felines dance, juggle, and play into his life, his routine changes and smiles begin to appear on his face. Finally, Old Robert takes in a black cat without any obvious talent and continues to smile. With the help of his new friends, he changes his lifelong habits and opens his heart to joy. The playful illustrations, created in ink, watercolor, and acrylic, are done in a cartoon style. A song called "Old Robert" can be downloaded from for use with the story. This salty adventure will make an entertaining read-aloud.—Janene Corbin, Rosebank Elementary School, Nashville, TN
A cat tries making its way onto Old Robert's sailboat, but there's "no room in the trim little boat." When the sailor reluctantly lets the cat board, a string of other cats follow; he finds a place on his vessel--and in his life--for affection. There's not much to the repetitive story, but the text is rhythmic and Jutte's illustrations are playfully imaginative.

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