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Alysson Foti Bourque

Children/Young Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Can Alycat's brother, Bugsy, win his golf tournament without his lucky ball? Find out how Alycat's mistake turns into a valuable lesson for all in this fourth book of the award-winning Alycat series.
In Bourque’s charming fourth picture book featuring anthropomorphic cat Alycat (after Alycat and the Friendship Friday), Bugsy, Alycat’s brother, learns a lesson about relying on himself rather than on luck. As the feline family is leaving for Bugsy’s golf tournament, he realizes he forgot his lucky golf ball, one with a star on it. His sister nearly stepped on it earlier, but she’s nice enough to run back into the house and get it for him. It isn’t until they reach the tournament green that Alycat realizes she brought the wrong ball. Hoping to teach Bugsy that he can succeed with or without the real lucky ball, she quickly draws a star on the new ball and hands it over. Naturally, he plays well even after he discovers the deception.

Civati’s clear, evocative digital illustrations underscore a lovingly written but slightly too earnest story. Poor Bugsy seems a bit harried; his parents repeatedly remind him that his skill comes from hard work and practice, and Alycat scolds him for leaving his ball where it could trip her. However, when Alycat manipulates her brother (with the best of intentions) and lies to him, she faces no repercussions—not even a stern look from their parents. Bugsy’s distress when he learns about the swap is waved away, as is a friend’s suggestion that Alycat simply fess up about having made a mistake.

The story is about Bugsy and his accomplishments, but it’s told from Alycat’s perspective, which makes it a little harder to give Bugsy full credit for playing well and overcoming his anxiety, and underscores the absence of any consequences for Alycat’s poor behavior. However, returning Alycat fans will be happy to see more of their favorite heroine and her visually diverse cast of feline family and friends. The book is also a beginner’s introduction to the sport of golf, with a helpful glossary in the back. Cat fans will be won over by the whimsical artwork and Bugsy’s triumph.

Takeaway: This sweet and beautifully illustrated story will captivate young cat fanciers and parents who want to teach their children about self-reliance.

Great for fans of Stan and Jan Berenstain, Janette Sebring Lowrey.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Mom's Choice Awards

ALYCAT AND THE TOURNAMENT TUESDAY is a recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award. The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for parents and educators and is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. Using a rigorous evaluation process, entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media trust the MCA Honoring Excellence seal when selecting quality products and services for families and children.