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Reviewed by Robert A. Groves for Readers' Favorite
The Cat That Was Nothing but Trouble by Anne Toole is the story of Sweetie Pie the cat who becomes lost one day and is found by puppy Lee and his female adult owner. The cat, whom Lee names Trouble, is quite a handful. The cat bullies Lee, eats his food, plays with his toys, and causes all types of mischief for which Lee is blamed. Lee quickly becomes despondent and wishes Trouble would leave his house and return it to the peaceful abode it was prior to the cat’s arrival. Just when Lee thinks all hope is lost for the peaceful existence he once knew to return, a man arrives at the front door one day. It is Sweetie Pie’s owner who is there to reclaim her and take her home. Lee is once again the happy puppy he was prior to the cat being brought into his environment.
Anne Toole’s imaginative children’s story, The Cat That Was Nothing but Trouble, is a tale with which any household with mixed pets will quickly identify. The book is rich in themes such as sibling rivalry, accepting others who are different, being a good house guest, respect for others, bullying, and how to play well together. The story’s rhythmic prose easily maintains one’s interest and will be a favorite read-along for children in either the home or classroom. It can be a story for an afternoon reading or bedtime. Toole does a respectful job of treading the conflict which develops between Lee, the cat, and the human characters. She addresses Lee’s vulnerability, and no doubt his fear the family may disown him, with masterfully crafted words and phrases. And no review would be complete on this book without a shout out for the brilliant illustrations from Richa Kinra. The colorful and bright illustrations magnificently complement the writing. This book is a joy to read and will be time well spent sharing with any child in your life.