Monday, February 24, 2020

Review - Stretchy McHandsome

Stretchy McHandsome
by Judy Schachner
Date: 2019
Publisher: Dial Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

A handsome and totally fetching street cat with a penchant for trouble stars in the new picture book by Judy Schachner, creator of the inimitable, irrepressible Skippyjon Jones

Stretchy McHandsome is not only good looking with his ginger fur, but he has personality that shines as well. Leaving the safety of the McHandsome clan, he stretches himself away from home and all around town. Out and about, he is spotted by a girl with a kindred spirit, who makes him realize the one thing missing from his life is the warm lap of a loving person. How this gadabout finds his true girl makes for a story that is a little bit wild, but a whole lot wonderful.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I am not a cat person, so cat books have to be pretty special for me to like them. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Stretchy McHandsome. It's actually a sweet rhyming story about a cat finding the one person who "gets" him.

Stretchy lives with his eight siblings in a cardboard box. One day, he decides to venture out on his own. He has a number of adventures (some more exciting than others) and eventually runs into a little girl who's a lot like him in some ways. Meanwhile, the other cats, missing their brother, head out in search of him, encountering many of the same people and adventures as Stretchy. It all wraps up in a sweet little ending that I won't spoil for you.

Rhyming picture books are usually hit-or-miss for me. The meter in this one isn't great, but it's not completely terrible, either (i.e., it could be read aloud without too much awkwardness). The story is simple and cute, but it's really the illustrations that are the star here. The cats are all unique and full of personality, and the little girl is adorable.

Overall, this is a charming picture book. I'd recommend it to readers looking for stories about finding your people (or cats, as the case may be), and those who love cats... although, that's not a prerequisite for enjoyment.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.71 out of 5

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