CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 19 . . . . May 24, 2002
Got to Go, a large gray cat, lived at the Sylvia Hotel, a popular site because of its proximity to the beach and the ocean. Got to Go "manages" the hotel very well until the day that Arnie arrives. Arnie is an enthusiastic, loud, Yorkshire Terrier who disrupts Got to Go's tranquil environment. Eventually, Arnie's irritating behaviour becomes an issue for the hotel staff and customers. But, Madame LaTour, a friend of Mr. Foster, the hotel manager, decides to adopt Arnie as a friend for her Terrier, Fifi. Got to Go's life returns to the tranquility that it was prior to Arnie's arrival.
Cats are reserved creatures. It has been said that dogs have masters and cats have staff. This description is particularly true of the cat in this story. The text of the story ably conveys an aristocratic sense to the story through the actions of the cat, formal titles of the hotel staff, and Mr. Foster's verbal expressions. Similarly, the text and the illustrations provide a descriptive portrayal of Arnie's excitable, lively, curious nature, one that shatters the tranquility of the atmosphere and lives of those that live, work, and visit at the hotel.
While the talent of the author and the illustrator is obvious, this book's reserved feeling may make it a difficult book to encourage children to read. When the reviewer read the book to an audience of 4 and 6 year olds, the response was lukewarm. It may be a good book to read in a theme about dogs, cats, or vacations as all these themes are evident in the story. As the artistic and authorship style fits that of the characters, particularly cats, I would recommend the book, but it lacks the warmth of other stories.
Weir is a consultant for Manitoba Culture, Heritage, and Tourism, Public
Library Services. Her professional background includes developing children's
programming and school librarianship.
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