Blind, deaf, and extremely arthritic, Simon, an elderly Siamese cat, is ready to call it quits after a long and happy life of furniture scratching, plant pruning, and mouse catching. Despite his family's deep love (they even submitted to "stinky old cat breath" in their faces when Simon chose to share their beds), his independent spirit becomes depressed as he needs more and more help in his daily life. Suspecting his decision to give up on life, his family plops a new kitten on his chest, and Simon puts his own worries on the back burner. Rejuvenated, he shows the kitten the facts of life at the milk saucer and the litter box. As his nurturing skills emerge, his loving family nicknames him "the Grannyman." Schachner's warm, emotional text is echoed in her softly colored illustrations, clearly depicting the contrast between joyous young Simon (seen in flashbacks) and his diminished elderly self. Owners of aged pets will surely "Aw!" at Simon's plight and resurrection. An endearingly sentimental tale.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.