Book Review: Chester's Masterpiece, series title #3 by Mélanie Watt

by DerdriuMarriner

Chester's Masterpiece by Mélanie Watt finds readers in the target audience of 4 to 8 years and way beyond ready to hear and see how Chester solos as acclaimed author/illustrator.

Are cats naturals at checking out another's property?

Friendships answer as much to amicable competitions as to supportive interactions among congenial acquaintances. The difference between friendly and non-friendly rivalries generally becomes clear through:
• body language;
• conversation topics; and
• social calendars.

Readers therefore consider the interactions of Chester the cat with Country Mouse the assistant and Mélanie Watt the author/illustrator as inclining less toward bitter hostilities and more toward amiable rivalries.

A deep truth in acquaintances and friendships nevertheless demands commitments to:
• honesty in action, emotion, and speech; and
• respect for personal idiosyncracy and private property.

A problem therefore emerges when Chester questions the inputs from assistant and author. Chester consequently finds the need to take into his hands more than his signature red marking pen.

*****

Website: http://melaniewatt.blogspot.com/

*****

Author-illustrator Mélanie Watt has to leave lots of yellow sticky (post-it) notes for Chester the cat as he wrestles to debut as an author.

Post-it notes
Post-it notes

Do cats play fair at hide and seek?

 

Chester gets sticky notes about the whereabouts of:

  • author/illustrator copies of Augustine the penguin, Leon the Chameleon, and Scaredy the Squirrel series; and
  • computer mouse, transparent tape, and watercolor brushes and paints.

He has picture book deadlines so he chooses to ignore the questions yellowing blank lined loose leaf sheets of notebook paper and complete his plagiarized story about Christmas Eve and red marker-drawn reindeer and Santa illustrations. Getting caught in literary theft is humiliating enough to provoke writer’s block.

But mention of the ingredients common to the best stories jostles Chester’s train of thought toward the hallmarks of great stories. He knows that inputs determine outputs in:

  • action;
  • drama;
  • horror, humor;
  • romance; and
  • science fiction, suspense. 

 

Chester the cat identifies cupcake sprinkles for brilliance as an important ingredient for a good story.

Sprinkles and buttercream icing on vanilla sponge cupcakes: baked by Rosie and Richard's (rosieandrichards.co.uk)
Sprinkles and buttercream icing on vanilla sponge cupcakes: baked by Rosie and Richard's (rosieandrichards.co.uk)

Has a cat a chance in marker/pencil fights?

 

The reminder leaves Chester over-confidently joking about super-ingredients as:

  • brilliant as cupcake sprinkles;
  • colorful as pizza;
  • commonsensical as flour;
  • crunchy as cat food;
  • funny as gummy bookworms;
  • sweet-ending as sugar; and
  • tasty as spices.

It makes him trigger-happy enough to challenge Mélanie to penciled versus red-markered jungle settings, to his detriment. Shame-faced Chester nudges through rude, unhappy-ending tales about:

  • Captain Cat buying The Claw-sea yacht -- whose litter is gold-plated -- with gold and jewels co-discovered by Skipper Mouse -- who makes a grilled sandwich from buried Swiss cheese -- before being eaten by a whale, to be expelled into an Antarctic polar bear’s jaws; and
  • paper clip-wielding, super-villainous Dr. Meanmouse drowning and Supercat inspiring Superhero statues. 

 

Chester's Masterpiece by Mélanie Watt ~ available via Amazon

Chester's finally ready to write his own masterpiece. But after several alternative (but always unhappy) endings, Chester is confronted by a problem he never bargained for. A wry comment on the creative process and how good stories are constructed.
Chester series

Is there going to be cat adventure #4?

 

The deep truth of what goes around comes around opens the way to Chester’s come-uppance when the red marking pen runs out of ink. Equipment failure provokes Chester’s penciled, watercolored caricaturization as a beret-sporting, striped shirt- and suspender pants-wearing Frenchman. Chester nevertheless questions who really gets the last laugh since author/illustrator books and supplies respectively fill kitty litter and recycling bins.

Chester's Masterpiece therefore provides pre-schoolers to third-graders, four-year-olds to eight-year-olds and way beyond cultural enrichment and educational entertainment, thanks to:

  • Chester's illustrations digitized from paper, red marker, and tape;
  • Kids Can Press Ltd.’s publishing arrangements;
  • Tara Walker’s editorship; and
  • Mélanie Watt’s design, illustrations digitized from pencil and watercolor, and storyline set in Carnation and Kidprint text. 

 

Chester's Masterpiece - read by Arwen Sharp

Published on YouTube on February 27, 2015 by Arwen Sharp ~ URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWGZk69jWig

Acknowledgment

 

My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.

 

In one of Chester the cat's story attempts, his hero, Supercat, confronts Dr. Meanmouse, a "horrible and cheesy villain" with a plan to burst the world with a pointy paper clip.

Giant paper clip at BI Commercial College near Oslo, southeastern Norway
Giant paper clip at BI Commercial College near Oslo, southeastern Norway

Sources Consulted: Chester's Masterpiece Is Available in English and French

 

Watt, Mélanie. 2010. Chester's Masterpiece. Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Tonawanda, NY, U.S.A.: Kids Can Press Ltd. 

 

When Chester's red marker runs out of ink, he capitulates and returns Mélanie's art supplies and other paraphernalia, which he had hidden in his litter tray!

cat with litter: World Trade Centre, Poznań, west central Poland
cat with litter: World Trade Centre, Poznań, west central Poland
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Hypno Cat: blue t-shirt ~ available via AllPosters

Hypno Cat
Ad AllPosters

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 03/18/2015, DerdriuMarriner
 
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