THE COCK AND THE GHOST CAT by Betty Jean Lifton

THE COCK AND THE GHOST CAT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a ghost story with a difference. It underlines the difference between Oriental and Occidental attitudes toward pets because the giant demon ghost assumes a most appealing form to Western eyes, that of a lost, hungry white kitten. His attempts to prey upon Gembei, a poor Japanese peasant, are continually foiled by Koko, Gembei's pet rooster. But, all that crowing in the middle of the night puts Koko under a death sentence by the village. Koko is floated away on a straw mat, and a passing monk, who understands all things, hears the message and takes action against cat just in time to save Gembei, but not Koko, who is honored in death by a monument in the village. The illustrations, in ink and color, are distinguished, especially the one that sweeps across the last page showing a ghost rooster. Oriental all the way, but not as strong as this author/illustrator team's outstanding The Dwarf Pine Tree (1963, p. 553-J-185).

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1965
Publisher: Atheneum