I spent most of my morning yesterday weeding through books. I loaded up carts with about 200 books that will be donated to various groups this spring. Of course, as I was clearing shelf space, I found some of the books that won awards from ALA this year. Today I took a couple of hours to read WHITTINGTON, the story not just of Dick Whittington but of a cat who is the namesake of this important figure of British lore and history. Whittington comes to the barn and joins a family comprised of mostly abandoned and injured animals. There is lady, the duck who rules the barn, two horses, a goat, some chickens, and (of course) rats. Whittington and the rats arrive at a compromise. He will not kill them if they will stop taking the grain and eggs from other residents of the barn. Daily, Bernie comes to tend to the troupe of animals. His grandchildren Abby and Ben now accompany him. It is to this audience of children and rag tag animals that Whittington tells the story of his namesake. Armstrong's story is mesmerizing, sashaying back and forth between the barn and the story of Dick Whittington and his cat. Short chapters make this a perfect read aloud. There is plenty of heart and plenty of adventure which should make it equally enjoyable to a wide range of audiences, too. Glad I found the book and glad to have the time to read.