Friday, April 13, 2018
Can't Catch Me! Written by Timothy Knapman and illustrated by Simona Ciraolo. Candlewick Press, Penguin Random House, 2017. $21.99 ages 4 and up
The wolf runs and runs.
It sprints and springs. But it
doesn't have a chance: it can't catch Jake.
Jake runs out of the woods and up into the hills."
I'm excited, because I am going to be reading this book today in early years classrooms as we continue to celebrate I Love To Read! It is great fun to read aloud, and to hear the kids' reactions to the two main characters and their personalities ... the fact that there is a surprise ending just adds to the delight of sharing it with them!
It's a grand tale. Jake considers himself the fastest mouse in the world. It takes him no time to prove that to his readers, and to Old Tom who would love to have Jake for lunch. Jake tests Tom's patience right from the opening page. Bragging and bounding away, Jake is gone and Tom is left with an empty stomach and an annoyed look.
Jake is off and aims his windbag ways at a fox, a wolf, and a bear. All are left in his dust, embarrassment etched on their faces, anger in their hearts, and growling in their stomachs. While taunting those who cross his path, Jake makes his way around the 'world', only to end up right where he began. Jake's absence has given Old Tom a chance to sharpen his wits and devise a plan!
Jake returns home as arrogant as ever, and readers will be of two minds when concerning yet another escape from Old Tom. I will be interested to hear what listeners this afternoon think.
Timothy Knapman and Simona Ciraolo are perfect collaborators for this well-told tale. Mr. Knapman's words carry the action through snappy dialogue from one predator to the next, while Ms. Ciraolo’s sunny setting and expressive characters add humor and perspective in pencil and watercolor images that beg to be carefully considered as the story moves toward its perfect ending.