THE CAT'S PURR by Ashley  Bryan


Email this review


Or, why cats eat rats--quietly and effectively adapted from a West Indian folk tale by an accomplished compiler/illustrator (The Ox of the Wonderful Horns, Beat the Story-Drum, Pure-Pure). This is a smallish volume (5 3/4 x 7 3/8), with russet crayon drawings of a droll dignity that itself compels attention. We first see Cat and Mouse as big and little trousered workmates, and "the best of friends." ("Uh-huh, uh-huh, they really were!") But Mouse is given to copying Cat, and when Cat's old uncle presents him with a tiny cat drum, "passed down in the family," Mouse is disgruntled at hearing he can't play it. ("I made my hut like yours, squeak, squee-eee. I played in the shade of your coconut tree. . .") So he devises a scheme to get hold of the drum--first stuffing himself with food, then feigning sickness when it's time to to out and work. But Cat, hoeing, hears the drum's purrum, purrum, purrum (a sound that, neatly, grows louder the more lightly the drum is stoked) and he eventually catches Rat out. That wily fellow saves himself by plunging the drum into Cat's open mouth--and, we're told, it has lodged safely in Cat's stomach ever since. "If you're kind to Cat," Ashley concludes--with a fetching drawing of a little boy and a big house-cat--"he'll let you play his drum. Remember, though, don't tap it or beat it, don't rap it or poke it. Just stroke Cat gently, very, very gently. Uh-huh, uh-huh!" It's an idea to capture a child's fancy, and touch a cat-lover's heart--with a measured, word-wise text satisfying to read or read aloud.
Pub Date: March 12th, 1985
ISBN: 002179510X
Page count: 52pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1985


AdultTHE NIGHT HAS EARS by Ashley  Bryan
by Ashley Bryan
ChildrenCLIMBING JACOB'S LADDER by John Langstaff
by John Langstaff
ChildrenSING TO THE SUN by Ashley  Bryan
by Ashley Bryan
ChildrenALL NIGHT, ALL DAY by Ashley  Bryan
by Ashley Bryan


ChildrenI AM LOVED by Nikki Giovanni
by Nikki Giovanni
ChildrenFREEDOM OVER ME by Ashley  Bryan
by Ashley Bryan
ChildrenSAIL AWAY by Langston Hughes
by Langston Hughes
ChildrenASHLEY BRYAN'S PUPPETS by Ashley  Bryan
by Ashley Bryan