A playful Indian parable
Hungry for a visual feast and oodles of frolicking fun? Gobble, Gobble, Slip, Slop: A Tale of a Very Greedy Cat by Meilo So will satisfy your appetite. So has adapted an Indian folktale that begins with a parrot and a cat who agree to take turns fixing dinner for each other. The lazy cat lolls in the sun all day and manages to set out only a few grains of rice. The next day, the parrot, bearing no grudge, prepares a feast of 500 beautiful little cakes, keeping only two for himself and giving the rest to the cat. The greedy feline, however, noisily devours everything, including the parrot.
Thus begins a cumulative tale in which the cat eats everything that comes his wayan old woman, a farmer and his donkey, a royal wedding procession (including an elephant) and, finally, two little crabs that end up being his downfall.
So spins the story against a delicate beige background on rice paper, which means that her ink and watercolor illustrations stand out brilliantly. The red-and-yellow parrot and the blue-gray cat (who grows fatter and fatter) are vividly depicted, and each element of the story makes a glowing appearance, from the amazing tower of 500 colorful cakes to the wedding procession accompanied by the sultan's soldiers. These illustrations are stately and fine, yet the story itself is raucous, reminiscent of "The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly."
So keeps the story rapidly rolling along until it concludes in a fast, funny fashion. As the cat gets fuller, lazier and more impudent, the bright-pink, repetitive text also grows biggerthat is, until the wise-guy feline makes the dreadful mistake of eating the two crabs. The little creatures save the day, leading the way out of the cat's belly in a three-page gatefold illustration that shows the long procession of people and animals. In the end, the cat apologizes to the bird, promising never to be greedy again. Knowing that fat, greedy cat, however, one really has to wonder.