Cover image for Blumpoe the Grumpoe meets Arnold the Cat
Blumpoe the Grumpoe meets Arnold the Cat
Okimoto, Jean Davies.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Joy Street Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
A grumpy old man and a shy young cat form an unlikely friendship at a Minnesota inn which provides its guests with a cat for the night.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Crusty Horace P. Blumpoe has little interest in adopting a cat for the night during his stay in a charming old Minnesota inn, whose reserve-a-cat policy has become enormously popular with most guests. However when he meets Arnold, a most unlikely friendship begins to grow.

Author Notes

Jean Davies Okimoto is an author and playwright whose books and short stories have been translated into Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German and Hebrew. She is the recipient of numerous awards including Smithsonian Notable Book, the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the Washington Governor's Award, and the International Reading Association Readers Choice Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. Grumpy by nature, Horace P. Blumpoe is at his grouchiest when he sets out on his annual visit to his sister. En route, Blumpoe's car breaks down, and he is forced to spend the night in a small town. Directed to the Anderson House Hotel, the real-life inspiration for this engaging picture book, Blumpoe storms into the place; when offered a cat for the evening, he indignantly asks, "A what?" "A cat," he is told. "Many of our guests miss their pets or aren't able to have pets of their own. They adopt a cat for their stay." Blumpoe's belligerent answer: "Of course I don't want a cat! I thought this was a hotel, not a kennel!" As the hotel fills with other guests who eagerly select feline company, Arnold, a cat who is never picked because he is excruciatingly shy, resolves to find someone who needs him for the night. He targets Blumpoe and secretly scurries into his room. Checking out in the morning, a now-smiling Blumpoe reserves a room--and Arnold--for his return trip. In the expressive cartoon style familiar from his Amos: The Story of an Old Dog and His Couch [BKL N 1 87] and Amazing Amos and the Greatest Couch on Earth [BKL Ap 1 89], Schneider embellishes the humorous whimsy of this appealing tale. --Ellen Mandel

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ever since his dog Raymond died, grumpy Horace P. Blumpoe has become even grumpier. But even a grouch has a soft spot, and lonely Horace prepares for his annual visit to his sister Edith. When car problems force him to check in at the Anderson House Hotel, Horace is offered a cat for companionship during his stay. The cranky guest refuses, of course, but an endearing kitty named Arnold decides that Blumpoe needs feline attention, and sneaks into his room. A frantic nocturnal confrontation of wills ensues, with Arnold determined to lavish attention on Blumpoe and Blumpoe equally determined not to receive it (although Blumpoe's grumpiness finally dwindles, influenced perhaps by his companion's persuasive purring). The next morning Horace departs, but not before he asks a maid for the cat's name and makes some very specific reservations for his return trip. Okimoto's poignant story (based on a real hotel) is complemented by winsome, nostalgic illustrations. Arnold's seemingly boneless body and silly putty face convey a variety of emotions that will melt readers' hearts as surely as that of Horace P. Blumpoe. Ages 4-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3 --Much like a younger version of James Steveson's Worst Person in the World, Horace P. Blumpoe elevates grumpiness to an art form, dashing off a letter to the manufacturer when there aren't enough chunks in his chunky peanut butter, complaining vociferously when his newspaper doesn't land in the exact center of his porch, facing the world with a ferocious scowl. When his car breaks down in a small Minnesota town, he takes a room at the Anderson House Hotel (a real place); along with a bachelor farmer from Lake Wobegon and other guests, he is invited to borrow one of the hotel's 19 cats for the night. Naturally he rejects the offer out of hand, but Arnold shyly appears on his bed anyway, casually ignoring his outrage; by morning he has put a smile on Blimpoe's face. Schneider's zany cartoon illustrations recall Stevenson's too, although both line and color are applied in a more controlled, detailed fashion; simple, clear scenes in a variety of sizes and shapes are bordered by small blocks of text and plenty of white space. Although less-practiced readers may be challenged by the vocabulary, this engaging, well-told story is worth their trouble. --John Peters, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.