Reading Fuddles was easy and a pleasure. From the first page it's apparent we're in very competent, confidant hands with the story and the art.
Your fat cat character is a great clown. I would have known --even without the flap photo--that this book was drawn by a cat-lover. In particular I love the way he is totally curled-up in that self-comforting cat-nap way in the garden, and how he loves having his hind-end scratched in just that place, in the final illustration. (A clever way of saying "The End".)
I like the way you bend your spaces --very cinematic-- but of course!-- and your sense of timing. When things finally explode (with Fuddles leaping out of the garden,) it’s great the way even the flowers are shooting skyward, like little rockets.
My favorite part of the book –and what I would look forward to every night, if I were reading this to a kid—is that aerial panorama of the neighborhood, with darkness washing over the land ( from east to west, even! Bravo!) and, of course, those little paw prints, which I assume one can follow, tracking our hero’s progress on his adventure. This is the kind of thing that can work only in a book, and so I commend you on what you’ve done to preserve the tradition.
- David Small
This story about a coddled cat contains few surprises, although Vischer's illustrations are both lively and skillful. When Fuddles suddenly decides his life needs adventure, he's shocked when, for the first time, he's told no. "You're not allowed to go outside," says his owner. Undeterred, the befuddled Fuddles dreams of "scaling mountains and fighting ferocious foes," and when his chance for escape arrives, he takes it. But what awaits is a series of slapstick misadventures as Fuddles ends up plopped into a disgusting birdbath, laughed at by squirrels, chased by a dog, and hopelessly lost. Vischer (Jimmy Dabble) shows all sides of Fuddles's personality: his daring, thought-bubble fantasies (snagging a fish from a raging river or going head-to-head with a bear) contrast with the royal treatment he receives at home as well as the reality of life on the street (er, cul-du-sac). The book's message, though, runs counter to the popular wisdom of encouraging children to follow their dreams: Fuddles begins and ends the book as a pampered cat, one who has learned that staying among "friendly, familiar faces" is much better than seeking adventure.
- Publishers Weekly, www.publishersweekly.com
Reviewed on: 04/04/2011
American Library Association
A schedule of eating, sleeping, and litter boxing can eventually grow dull, so one day, Fuddles the cat sneaks out of the house. He soon finds, though, that real-world adventures are more challenging than he'd envisioned. After too much high living indoors (and too many pork chops), Fuddles feels as if he has lost his ability to chase prey, climb trees, and escape danger: He realized that couches were easier to climb than trees. Drifting through his Wisteria Lane-like suburban neighborhood, he grows increasingly hungry and scared until his family finds him and takes him home. In his picture-book debut, Vischer, a Disney animator, creates an appealing character in black-and-white Fuddles. The brief, repetitious sentences will read aloud well, but children will want to crowd in close to catch all of the detail and expression in the digital illustrations, which are rendered in the style of traditional pencil drawings. Fuddles' contradictory yearning for both adventure and familiar safety will strike a chord with many kids.
- Medlar, Andrew Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
…your book fuddles, he's really cute and funny;
…he is adorable-really. and I love your colors and design through out.
"spoiled, spoiled..." hilarious.
The book is fantastic; the images literally jump out at you. wonderful, wonderful.
- David Catrow
The Library Journal Review:
Fuddles is a large and very pampered black-and-white tuxedo cat who yearns for adventure and the great outdoors. To prepare himself, he starts “a strict exercise regimen. (But not too strict.)” Lively cartoon illustrations digitally rendered show the lethargic feline lackadaisically tapping a ball (exercise) and eating lots of food (the not-too-strict part!). Once he does manage to sneak outside, matters deteriorate quickly: the birds and squirrels are not easy prey, the trees are not a cinch to climb, and the neighbor’s dog is definitely not friendly. Chastened and lost, Fuddles is finally found by his family and gratefully lapses back into his usual routine as a spoiled house cat. Although not an unusual subject, this oversize story is full of fun with large, expressive pictures of the inimitable character as he discovers the challenges of the outdoors. Certainly the book is a candidate for a themed storytime or a bedtime read to chuckle over. Most libraries should make the acquaintance of Fuddles.
–Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
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