Blue Ethel

Jennifer Black Reinhardt, 1963-

Book - 2017

"Ethel the cat is surprised when, in the course of her usual day, she unexpectedly turns blue"--

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Children's Room jE/Reinhard Due Jul 19, 2022
Children's Room jE/Reinhard Due Jul 17, 2022
Picture books
New York : Margaret Ferguson Books, Farrar Straus Giroux 2017.
First edition
Physical Description
unpaged : color ilustrations
Main Author
Jennifer Black Reinhardt, 1963- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Ethel the cat is completely satisfied with her existence. Her set daily routine includes keeping an eye on her yard, checking the weather, making sure no villains (ants) get too close, and rolling on her favorite sidewalk square. As portrayed in the lively, humorous illustrations, complacent Ethel is living large and completely in charge of her tiny area of the world. Ethel does not notice, however, that someone has drawn on her sidewalk square with chalk, which has the unexpected effect of turning Ethel's white fur bright blue. A full-bleed two-page spread rendered in various shades of blue combines the appearance of watercolor, pastels, and pen-and-ink crosshatching to show a despondent Ethel, completely done in by this change to her well-ordered world. In her newly vulnerable state, she looks around and notices a young cat, Fluffy, whose own white fur today is pink! When the two cats explore the sidewalk together, they become amazingly colorful. The message about being open to new possibilities is perfectly pitched to child level, and the cats' funny expressions and reactions give the story entertaining levity. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Can literal blues lead to metaphorical ones? For an old, fat cat named Ethel, the answer is yes. Ethel sticks to her routine each day, which includes rolling around on a particular square of sidewalk. She doesn't notice that the square is covered in blue chalk one day; her white fur turns bright blue, other cats whisper, and she retreats indoors, sad and embarrassed. After Ethel sees that her friend Fluffy is now pink, she has a change of heart—Reinhardt (Yaks Yak) gracefully reminds readers of the rewards of being open to new experiences. As befits a story with a central focus on color, Reinhardt's palette is rich and lush; a field dotted with poppylike flowers takes on a tie-dyed quality as watery bursts of red bleed into grassy greens and yellows. Jittery ink lines bring Ethel's world to life: when she ventures outdoors "to survey the land," Reinhardt shows her perched on the porch, overlooking a yard dotted with plastic flamingoes and mushrooms, elaborate topiaries, and one very dead houseplant. It's hard not to wonder what the story is with Ethel's unseen caretakers. Ages 4–6. Agent: Marietta Zacker, Gallt and Zacker Literary. (May) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly Annex.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 2—Readers learn everything they need to know about this feline on the first spread: "Ethel was old. She was fat. She was black. She was white. And she was very set in her ways." Part of her daily routine involves rolling on the sidewalk, but when one day the sidewalk has been covered in chalk art, Ethel's black-and-white life gets a little more colorful. Ethel is blue—literally and figuratively; her unintentional change makes her too self-conscious to follow her usual habits. She's saved by the appearance of a bright pink neighborhood friend, Fluffy, a perfect companion. Careful readers will spy Fluffy on every page, a true Ethel admirer, stalwart enough to dye herself on purpose. Reinhardt's whimsical pen and watercolor illustrations are well suited to this story of friendship and reliance. The pacing is spot-on; just a sentence or two per page leaves a lot of time for readers to inspect the art, which is full of texture and humorous details. VERDICT A great storytime read-aloud and a super matchup with James Dean and Eric Litwin's Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and Karen Beaumon's I Ain't Gonna Paint No More.—Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter School, Providence Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Ethel the cat is good at being herself and going about her usual routine, until one day she turns blue and must learn to adapt to this change.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A fractious elderly tuxedo kitty, who is very set in her ways, accidentally turns blue after rolling in sidewalk chalk and becomes discouraged when she cannot wash herself clean before meeting a plucky kitten who has rolled in pink chalk. By the illustrator of Yaks Yak.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Ethel the cat is surprised when, in the course of her usual day, she unexpectedly turns blue"--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Ethel is old, she is fat, she is black, and she is white. She is also a cat who is very set in her ways...until the day she turns blue! BLUE ETHEL is an adorable story written and illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt, showing readers that being different can be a good thing.A Margaret Ferguson Book