CATKIN by Antonia Barber


Email this review


The Little People are not being intentionally cruel when they steal Carrie away from her parents. Being childless, the enchanted creatures can't understand the love that exists between a parent and child. Catkin, Carrie's tiny cat, takes it upon himself to win her back. Before he leaves, the Wise Woman instructs him not to drink from the willow pool, lest he forget his home, nor reveal his name, lest he give the Little People the power to keep him. The lord of the Little People poses three riddles. If Catkin can answer them correctly, Carrie will be returned to her rightful parents, despite the grief this will cause his lady. But in order to answer the third riddle correctly, Catkin must say his name, thus sacrificing himself for Carrie. Catkin is ready to do this but, seeing the distress of the lord and lady, he again seeks the Wise Woman's counsel. She offers a compromise: Catkin and Carrie will return home but whenever ""the nights are longest"" they will pay a visit to the land of the Little People. Barber (Gemma and the Baby Chick, 1993, etc.) has produced a frightless folktale that sparkles with Lynch's magical watercolors. Proof that the mundane and the enchanted can coexist with a little good will on both sides.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1994
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Candlewick