February 16, 2015
Mr. Putter and Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard
Mr. Putter and Tabby Turn the Page
by Cynthia Rylant
illustrated by Arthur Howard
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I used to read the Mr. Putter and Tabby series on a regular basis back when my young reader was just starting to read independently, but he’s 15 now. I was thrilled to rediscover this series at my local library.
Mr. Putter and Tabby share a love of many quiet activities from taking a bath to napping to reading. Not surprisingly, they have favorite books. Mr. Putter loves cowboys. Tabby loves rabbits. They both love gardening.
At the library, Mr. Putter sees a sign-up sheet for story time with your pet. He signs up to do this with Tabby and then tells his friend Mrs. Teaberry about the opportunity.
Mrs. Teaberry loves new things so it isn’t surprising that she latches onto this idea. Will anyone want to hear Mr. Putter and Tabby after hearing Mrs. Teaberry and her good dog Zeke? Mr. Putter practices reading with gusto.
If you haven’t read Mr. Putter and Tabby, you may be surprised that to discover just how funny these took are. There is generally a slapstick, silly element that appeals to the youngest readers. This comes through in Arthur Howard’s expressive, colorful illustrations.
There is also a more subtle side to the humor. Often these jokes come through the text or subtleties in the illustrations (look for Mrs. Teaberry’s cookies and check out the ingredients).
Because this is an early reader, the illustrations may expand on the text but only a little. Their true role is to support the text and the reader, providing clues for words the reader may have troubles deciphering.
If you haven’t read these books, share them with your young reader who is working to develop his own reading skills. There is enough to these books that you can also share them with your picture book-aged child. These books are great read-alouds.
Don’t glance at the illustrations and put them down because the characters are not kids. They may be a little older than many early reader characters but these two are kids at heart. Whether your young reader is somewhat shy or a real fire cracker, she will identify with one of these characters.