Book Reviews of Cats Are Cats

Cats Are Cats
Cats Are Cats
Author: Nancy Larrick
ISBN-13: 9780399215179
ISBN-10: 0399215174
Publication Date: 10/20/1988
Pages: 80
Reading Level: Ages 9-12

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Publisher: Philomel Books
Book Type: Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
This collection of 42 poems about cats may bring on purrs of satisfaction from cat-lovers. Cats who come and go "on invisible toes," who "sleep fat and walk thin," who "do not wear bright yellow spats" cavort and stretch on page after page; they preen in sunlight and walk "through moonlight's milk." The poems, by such distinguished contemporary poets as John Ciardi, Karla Kuskin, Eve Merriam, Joan Aiken, Nancy Willard and Valerie Worth, are nicely varied and challenging. Young's charcoal-and-pastel drawings of the intriguing cats are elegant in their simplicity and design; the spare backgrounds on uniformly yellow-brown pages focus attention on the "crisp and clean" whiskers and the "hypnotic eyes" of those entrancing, dancing cats. All ages.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 6 From the elusive half cat on the front cover with its long tail wrapping around the back to the tiny paw prints across the last page of the index, this book will delight cat lovers and make believers of the rest of us. In words and visual images, it captures the essence of the catethereal, enigmatic, majestic, foolish, playful and diffident. Larrick's selection of poems brings together old favorites by Karla Kuskin, John Ciardi, Eleanor Farjeon, Eve Merriam, Aileen Fisher, and others as well as lesser-known delights such as Shelagh McGee's ``WantedA Witch's Cat.'' And Young doesn't just draw pictures of cats, he brings the particular cat of the poem to life. His charcoal and pastel images capture the rhythms, the energy, and the imagination of the poetry in angles, movement, and the impossible positions of catdom. These cats are both shadow and substance, instantly recognizable, but, at the same time, aloof and mysterious. When two poems appear together on a double-page spread, the elegantly elusive, yet expressive, quality of Young's images always work for both, as when the grays of a single illustration effectively represent both shadow for Adrien Stoutenburg's ``Cat at Night'' and snow in Elizabeth Coatsworth's ``On a Night of Snow.'' The tan, faintly mottled pages form the perfect backdrop for these mystical and magical cats. Truly these cats are cats that inspire wonder, the imagination, and a sensitivity to perfectly-matched visual and verbal images.