A TALE OF TWO CATS by Ayin Hillel


by ; illustrated by ; translated by
Age Range: 4 - 6
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Who is handsomer, the white cat or the black cat?

In a waterfront vacation spot with outdoor cafes for tourists as the setting, two cats appear who are good friends. The black cat is “black as tar,” while the white cat is “white as whitewash.” Each then claims to be the better-looking one, resulting in a petty quarrel and a parting of the ways. But then each cat is filled with doubt. Maybe the disputed claims are correct and the other cat is truly more handsome. The cats then come up with a solution to the quandary, the white cat immersing itself in tar while the black cat whitewashes itself. This is in no way a resolution, of course, and it’s achieved with the obvious difficulties of maintaining the new colorations. Back to their original states they go, sharing a rekindling of their camaraderie over drinks and a resounding “Meow!” The story, translated into rhyming couplets from Hebrew, is told in cartoon panels with line drawings and people presenting in shades of white, orange, and blue. Readers may be left with questions. Is this simply an entertaining story about irksome quarreling, or is there a deeper issue that can be applied to humankind? The cats are mute on that.

This silly tale of two cats of two colors finding both self and joint happiness may well provoke conversations. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-68396-266-3
Page count: 28pp
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2019