Despite the fact that conference and festival organizers often don't seem to realize it, female writers can be just as funny as male writers. Deborah Underwood is a case in point. Despite the fact that it isn't topical at the moment, it being a book about Easter and all, let's look at her "Easter Cat."
"Here Comes The Easter Cat" is the story of a cat with attitude who doesn't see why the Easter Bunny should get all the attention. The book is short - 292 words - but every one of those words packs a punch. The story, written in the second person point of view, is told in the form of a two-way conversation between the reader and the cat - funny signs that cat holds out represent her side of the conversation. (There's actually no hint in the story of cat's gender.) Cat's signs and facial expressions tell exactly what she thinks about the reader's suggestions. On the page where the text says, "Well, of course everyone loves the Easter Bunny" cat's disgusted expression is hilarious. And his smug grin at the thought of biting off chocolate bunny's head is a hoot. Claudia Rueda's deceptively simple drawings on a plain white background focus all the attention on cat. Gradually cat overcomes her envy and warms to the Easter bunny, eventually helping him finish his work. A delightful twist in the final illustration lets us know there will be another story about this hilarious cat (in fact there are two more).
My almost two-year old granddaughter wasn't very interested in this book when she first saw (despite the fact that she loves cats) it but as soon as I began to read it aloud she was drawn to the conversational tone and came to see the pictures. So we give it a Greta star and we'll definitely be reading it next Easter.
Other Books by Deborah Underwood:
The Quiet Book, illustrated by Renata Liwska, HMH Books for Young Readers, 2010
The Loud Book, illustrated by Renata Liwska, HMH Books for Young Readers, 2011
Interstellar Cinderella, illustrated by Meg Hunt, Chronicle, 2015