THE NINE LIVES OF THE CAT by Gérard Moncomble


Age Range: 10 - 12
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In this redrawn version of “King of the Cats,” a writer relates episodes from his cat’s previous seven lives, claiming the cat himself as the source. As those lives involved living in surroundings fine and poor, with the likes of a gang of marauding cats, a Toad-Witch and a group of monks, the tale is an adventurous one. Arinouchkine picks up this feeling nicely, with atmospheric, elaborately finished paintings featuring a variety of human figures in medieval dress and a graceful black cat with lambent eyes. The tale ends in the customary way, with the writer coming upon a feline funeral procession in the woods, and bringing the news back to his suddenly animated pet, who leaps out the window into a ninth and final life. Like the art, the narrative is sophisticated, and occasionally startling—“The inside of the Toad-Witch’s house was darker than the inside of a goat’s butt”—so younger readers (and less open-minded adults) may be more comfortable with traditional renditions. (Picture book/folktale. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-689-04637-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Milk & Cookies Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2005