HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Little Pussycat
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Leonard Weisgard
Publisher: Western Publishing Company, republished in 1979
Related website: http://www.margaretwisebrown.com/ (author)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 3-7
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Brown, Margaret Wise. Little Pussycat (originally published as Pussy Willow in 1951 by Golden Books, a division of Western Publishing Company Inc., Racine, WI 53404). In this last of three older Little Golden Books that I purchased at a used bookstore a couple of years ago, Pussy Willow is a little pussycat who was born one spring in a forest under the pussywillows. He is not much bigger than a pussywillow, and is just as soft and gray as those little flowers clinging to the branches all about him, so he is called Pussy Willow. He meets a bug, a peeper, and a deer mouse. As time passes by, Pussy Willow looks up and notices that the pussywillows are gone, replaced by little green leaves, so he goes to look for them. As summer comes, he asks a butterfly, some friendly birds, a bee, a mole, a rabbit, a skunk, and even a hermit crab down by the sea. After fall arrives, he asks a squirrel. In winter, he falls asleep in the shadow of a groundhog. Will he ever find his pussywillows? And if so, when and where?
Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952) was a prolific American writer of children’s books, including the picture books Goodnight Moon, perhaps her best known work, which I have read and reviewed, and The Runaway Bunny, which I have not, both illustrated by Clement Hurd. Early in the 1950s she wrote several books for the Little Golden Books series, including The Color Kittens, Mister Dog, and Scuppers The Sailor Dog. Another one of that series is The Whispering Rabbit, which I have also read and reviewed. By the time of her unexpected death at age 42 from an embolism two weeks after emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst, Brown had authored well over one hundred books. Little Pussycat would be a good fictional story for young children to accompany a study about cats, forest animals, and/or the changing of the seasons.