When he begins dealing with humanity, Lionel the cat begins to understand why his wizard master was reluctant to change him into a man.
Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001 ; H.W. Wilson; United States
Linnea Hendrickson (Children's Literature) Please, master," said the cat, "will you change me into a man?" Imagine a human who retains many of the attributes of a cat--the ability to leap and land on his feet, to pounce, and to see and smell more keenly than humans can. Lionel, unfamiliar with the ways of the world, is a na´ve protagonist who, through a breathtaking series of adventures and mishaps, manages to save the day and win the woman he loves. Of course no one believes that Lionel is really a cat--that is until he manages to drive a horde of rats from the Crowned Swan to the Mayor's house. Rich in word play and sly social commentary, this story begs to be read aloud, and offers numerous opportunities for making connections with traditional tales ranging from "Stone Soup" to the "Pied Piper of Hamelin." The names alone: Lionel, Mayor Pursewig, Swaggart his henchman, Owlbert, and Dr. Tudbelly all add to the fun, as do Dr. Tudbelly's pronouncements in Latin -- "O tempora, O mores." Fans of Harry Potter should be enchanted. 2000 (orig. 1973), Puffin, $4.99. Ages 8 to 12.