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Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page: Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard

Book: Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page
Author: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator: Arthur Howard
Pages: 40
Age Range: 6-9 (early reader)

Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page is the latest title in Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard's extensive series of early readers. The first book in this series, Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea, was published in 1994. My daughter and I were introduced to the series by a friend whose children read them several years ago. My four year old and I both quite enjoy the Mr. Putter & Tabby books. We have a few, and frequently bring others home from the library. They are the sort of early readers that are perfectly pleasant to read aloud (unlike some which are just too tedious for parents to enjoy). This is no small thing in my household, where reading "chapter books" together makes my daughter, who can only read a very words, feel grown up. 

In Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page, we learn that the elderly Mr. Putter enjoys reading aloud to his cat, Tabby. When he sees a sign at the library asking people to "Read aloud with your pet at Story Time", he is, while a bit nervous, unable to resist. He become a bit more nervous, however, when his best friend, Mrs. Teaberry, signs up, too. Mr. Putter fears that Mrs. Teaberry's dog, Zeke, may get carried away. Zeke does indeed wander off in search of food in the middle of the Story Time, but it all turns out ok in the end. 

Things I love about this book:

  • It's about Story Time at the library.
  • It celebrates the fact that Mr. Putter and Tabby enjoy their quiet time at home reading together.
  • It reinforces the very different nature of Mr. Putter and Mrs. Teaberry's personalities.

Here's my favorite part (to that third point): 

"After he signed up, Mr. Putter made a mistake.
Mr. Putter told his friend and neighbor
Mrs. Teaberry about signing up.
He forgot that Mrs. Teaberry loved anything new.

She learned new hobbies.
She made new friends.
She cooked new food.
Mrs. Teaberry liked new."

This is accompanied by a picture of Mrs. Teaberry singing happily in a band called "The Zeekers", as well as one of a plate of "Cauliflower Cookies." These details are sufficient to entertain any reader, I think, and exactly highlight Mrs. Teaberry's personality. Another wonderful illustration shows Mrs. Teaberry reading to the kids, wearing a flower-bedecked baseball cap that says "I (heart) My Library", while Zeke howls (making the sound effects for the book). 

But the real heart of this book is Mr. Putter, tucked up in bed in striped pajamas, with Tabby on his head, reading a book. The Mr. Putter & Tabby books are timeless early readers with real personality. That's why they are still being published today, 20 years after the first book. Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page is a wonderful new installment to a fine series. A must-purchase for libraries, and a welcome addition to any new reader's bookshelf. 

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (@HMHBooks
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon and iBooks affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).