Emily Cheney Neville Ruth Hill Viguers - Essay

Ruth Hill Viguers

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Emily Neville's It's Like This, Cat … gives a wonderful sense of the sights, sounds, and smells of New York City. Dave Mitchell, fourteen and rebellious—"My father is always talking about how a dog can be very educational for a boy. This is one reason I got a cat"—tells his own story of a year of growing up, especially of going through the tunnel of impatience and irritation with his father and coming at last into the light. Mrs. Neville's second book, Berries Goodman …, has even more interesting characters and situations. It is the story of a city boy, newly arrived in the suburbs, who has his first brush with antisemitism. Berries Goodman and Sidney Fine, who have found much in common, do their best to keep adult prejudices from interfering with their friendship, but they cannot long maintain their easy, happy relationship in the face of parental pressures. Humor and perspective make it an absorbing story, not a social tract. The emotion underlying the straightforward storytelling makes the reader care greatly about the boys and their friendship. (pp. 595-96)

Ruth Hill Viguers, in A Critical History of Children's Literature, by Cornelia Meigs, Anne Thaxter Eaton, Elizabeth Nesbitt, and Ruth Hill Viguers, edited by Cornelia Meigs (copyright © 1953, 1969 by Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.), revised edition, Macmillan, 1969.