CATS OF MYTH

TALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

As a companion to Dogs of Myth (1999), illustrated by Barry Moser, the Hausmans offer nine (naturally) tales of puissant pussies, each depicted in luminous watercolors by a premier illustrator of cats. Divided by type—Creation, Trickster, Goddess, Monster, etc.—the stories come from a variety of cultures. They are freely retold with a fine sense of humor and an often clever turn of phrase. Until, troll-turned-kitty, Sweet Butter tricks him into abdicating, the troll king “Rumble Grumble was bad news.” Or in a Japanese tale: a canny old temple cat overcomes a “ninja rat.” And loosely based on an actual incident, an invading army bloodlessly captures the city of Tisseh (Pelusium) by marching up to the gates holding cats rather than swords. The authors add discussions of themes and breeds to each tale, and close the collection with source notes. Except for the all-devouring Whittle Cat, the felines here are beneficent, if self-interested, so readers who feel that cats have gotten a bad rap in folklore will purr over this engaging gathering. (Folktales. 7-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-82320-7

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look...

ACOUSTIC ROOSTER AND HIS BARNYARD BAND

Winning actually isn’t everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look good—particularly after his “ ‘Hen from Ipanema’ [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon.”—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world’s best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander’s versifying isn’t always in tune (“So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame…”), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower’s canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz’s instruments, history and best-known musicians.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-688-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

A WHALE OF THE WILD

After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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