Posts Tagged cynthia rylant

Mr. Putter and Tabby by Cynthia Rylant

I heart Mr. Putter and Tabby.

My author crush on Cynthia Rylant continues. Thank God, my local library updated its collection of The High-Rise Private Eyes stories on CD because I could not cope with my carpool kids without something that engrosses them for the entire ride. But I’ve written about these silly and blessed mysteries for kids. So, here are my thoughts about another Cynthia Rylant series: Mr. Putter and Tabby.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Spin the Yarn

Mr. Putter and Tabby Spin the Yarn

Sigh. If I love High-Rise because it keeps the kids entertained I adore Mr. Putter and Tabby on its own merits. Educators like to say that stories need child protagonists to entertain children but this is a perfect example of a series that breaks all the rules. It’s an easy reader series about an older man, Mr. Putter, and his cat, Tabby, who live next to elderly Mrs. Teaberry and her dog, Zeke. Each book contains a very calm little adventure which contains no light-sabers or pink cupcakes — it’s always a decidedly old-fashioned story. Last night, the 5 year old munchkin and I read Mr. Putter and Tabby Spin the Yarn in which Mrs. Teaberry decides to have a knitting party and Mr. Putter, feeling like Mrs. Teaberry is always cooking him food and all he does is eats it, wants to serve tea at the party for Mrs. Teaberry’s guests. You might think that Mr. Putter would create a huge mess but in fact, it’s Zeke, Mrs. Teaberry’s wild dog, and Tabby, the cat who shouldn’t be near so much yarn, that create all the problems and Mr. Putter does a lovely job of keeping everyone calm and cleaning up.

One thing I will say is that they are stories filled with people doing kind things. Whether Mr. Putter is worrying that he doesn’t do as much for Mrs. Teaberry as she does for him, or Mr. Putter is offering to walk Mrs. Teaberry’s crazy dog Zeke when she hurts her foot in Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog, it’s nice to read about people who take care of neighbors and are just plain nice.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Write the Book

Mr. Putter and Tabby Write the Book

Last week, we read about the time that Mr. Putter decided to write a novel, which took a lot of thinking and a lot of naps and snacks, in Mr. Putter and Tabby Write the Book. Truly, nothing happens but it’s such a nice change from all these stories out there where there’s much too much that does happen.

I think I’m becoming a fuddy duddy, but I do love Mr. Putter and Tabby. Luckily, there are many books in the series so I won’t be stuck without a good Mr. Putter and Tabby to curl up with.

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The High-Rise Private Eyes by Cynthia Rylant

I’m having an author crush on Cynthia Rylant. More so than any other author right now, she is making a difference in my life. (Sorry Anna Levine but I do still love you!)

The issue is carpool. I carpool 5 kids between the ages of 4 and 9. They are a mix of boys and girls with different interests and ideas of what is appropriate carpool talk and different feelings about carpool with no Disney radio. They are lovely children but they sit in my car for about 30+ minutes three times a week and sometimes I think seriously about dropping them off at the nearest school rather than the school they actually go to.

Enter Cynthia.

The High-Rise Private Eyes

The High-Rise Private Eyes

Last year I started going to the library and borrowing books on tape to listen in the car. They were successful, but I also had fewer kids and a narrower age range in the car. I’ve reintroduced the stories this year but I started them off with The High-Rise Private Eyes, a mystery series that Rylant (trying to be professional here) wrote for young readers. So far, I believe there are about 9 books in the series but our library only has 2 of them. The kids are addicted. There is no difference between the older ones and the younger ones, they are all really into the (inane) mysteries that detectives and best friends Bunny Brown and raccoon Jack Jones try to solve. (Bunny is the brains, Rylant says, Jack is the snoop…)

Yes, the mysteries are inane. The dialogue is often silly. But it’s cute and the kids love it and they listen to it over and over again and they are quiet for the 30 minutes it takes me to drive them to school. And my son and his best friend often play the High-Rise Private Eyes where they make up little mysteries and try to solve them. And because of all this, I love Cynthia Rylant.

Here are some of the books in the series. I actually really like the audio version, there’s a great narrator:

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