Lotus72, October 11, 2008 (view all comments by Lotus72)
We take Aylene's review and add another 380 thumbs up from the students at Riverend School. This book has a lovely sense of humor that takes twists and turns not found in other books. It is 'novel' in more than one way! The humor winds its way throughout the story as Chester, the mighty "solid" cat (never fat, just solid) battles with Melanie Watt, the author, for true control! This is a perfect read aloud book- full of places to stop and engage students in higher-order thinking! Bravo Ms. Watt! Bring on more Chester!
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aylenestoner, May 4, 2008 (view all comments by aylenestoner)
Chester is an outstanding book! The author Melanie Watt, has her hands full as she tries to write a story about a mouse, only to have Chester, the cat interfer with his big red marker! Chester insists that the book will be about him and proceeds through the story, correcting and editing himself in, as the main character. Melanie, the author tries her best to intervene. Chester's words are written in bold, red marker and Melanie tries her best to write in black.
As a teacher of grade two students, I can give this book 21 thumbs up. (one from me and the rest from my students) We adore Melanie Watt's books and in a recent classroom poll, "Chester" was the hands down favorite of Melanie's works. We love you Melanie Watt!!!
(from the Grade 2 class at St. George-German School in St. George, Ontario, Canada)
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Kids Can Press -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"This sidesplitting metafiction offers further proof of Watt's (the Scaredy Squirrel books) extravagantly fresh, cheeky voice. Here, the exasperated author-illustrator engages in a literary tug-of-war with the eponymous marmalade puss, who has a figure like Nero Wolfe and an outsize ego to match. Chester is determined to thwart Watt's attempts to write a nice little book about a winsome country mouse; using a red magic marker, he writes, 'Then Mouse packed his bags and went on a trip very, very far away and we never saw him ever again!' underneath Watt's opening sentence and attempts to make himself the star of the show. Volleys of creativity and red ink follow: Watt introduces a fierce dog, only to have Chester make him vegetarian; Chester begins a new story set in Chesterville ('where mice weren't allowed'), but Watt makes it rain, washing his work away. Chester retaliates by caricaturing the author ('Hi. I am Mlanie Watt and I am very angry!' reads a speech bubble), and the mouse even enters the act, complaining, 'I can't work like this!' The closing pages seem to give Watt the upper hand (hint: a humiliating pink tutu is involved), but readers, who will adore Chester's unbridled self-interest and blatant disregard for artistic integrity, may suspect that this is one kitty who has not yet begun to fight. Ages 4-8." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This story is told--and retold--by dueling author-illustrators, but who will win out? Will it be Mlanie Watt or her cat with confidence to spare, Chester? Full color.
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