Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tales are cat's meow for kids

By Linda Newbery/ Illustrations by Catherine Rayner/ Atheneum, 32 pages/ $16.99/ ages 2 to 4/
By Mark Reibstein/ Illustrated by Ed Young/ Little, Brown/ 36 pages/ $16.99/ ages 4 to 8
By Hannoch Piven/ Atheneum/ 40 pages/ $16.99/ ages 4 to 8

COPYRIGHT 2009 The News Tribune

By Rebecca Young
Aug. 4--When it comes to the domestic pet duo, cats usually get short shrift in media and popular literature. Not sure we'll see "Snowball and Me" coming out of Hollywood anytime soon. Good thing children's books are there to pick up the slack. Here are a three wonderful cat books that have come out in recent months. 
"Posy" by Linda Newbery is the delightful story of a kitten told in rhyming couplets with stunning illustrations by Catherine Rayner. The fetching feline is a "spider catcher, sofa scratcher" and "pillow sitter, hissy spitter."
Newbery's simple and elegant text allows Rayner's expressive pictures to take center stage. Mostly in sepia, black and rust – the colors of Posy -- with splashes of color, the pictures perfectly capture a kitten in all its adorableness. 
Wabi Sabi"Wabi Sabi" by Mark Reibstein with art by Ed Young, is another gorgeously illustrated, but much more complex tale. It's the story of Wabi Sabi, a cat named after a Japanese philosophy -- the art of finding beauty in impermanence and imperfection. 
The cat embarks on a journey to discover the meaning of her name. The animals she meets along the way tell her that wabi sabi is difficult to explain, but they could show her what it means, in simple things like a tea ceremony or warm steam rising from a bowl. Each phase of the journey is accompanied by a haiku. In the end, Wabi Sabi arrives at her own understanding of the ideas behind her name. Young's collages are three-dimensional and lovely in this interesting and lyrical book. 
"What Cats Are Made Of" by Hannoch Piven is a collection of goofy collages paired with descriptions of breeds of cats, including Persian, Scottish Fold, Siamese, Savannah and more. There are also general "feline facts" sprinkled throughout the pages. The descriptions are interesting and the collages are fun. The Scottish Fold cat is made of origami. The Siamese, which is described as being exceptionally intelligent, has computer mice for ears and a circuit board nose.
Rebecca Young: 253-597-8606 
What Cats Are Made Of

No comments: