An unseen (until the end) narrator describes a beloved cat; snippets of information about feline physiology and behavior are included.
Feline fanciers will be immediately charmed by the unnamed, yellow-eyed black cat who prowls the pages of this French import (and, in one utterly convincing portrait, sprawls atop a radiator in boneless comfort). Brief text describes typical cat activities; humorously contradictory illustrations add to the charm. Pictures of a sleeping cat across two spreads, for example, appear with this sentence: “When he runs // his athletic body propels him.” Declarative sentences employ sometimes-challenging vocabulary, including “vigilant” and “agile and acrobatic.” Occasionally split over two double-page spreads, the straightforward sentences move the book along smoothly despite a longer-than-usual format. Asterisked notes appear at the bottoms of most double-page spreads to provide basic information and some quirky details. Readers may skip them entirely with no negative impact, but they will likely add interest for some young listeners. Simler’s artwork, which has the appearance of drawings created with pastels, has a delightfully scratchy texture and displays an intriguing use of light, particularly in the nighttime scenes. Backgrounds are simply sketched, and abundant white space allows the text to stand out crisply. Bright colors and appealing details create a sense of the comfortable home where the cat and his companion dwell.
With evident affection and sly humor, this paean to a beloved pet perfectly captures this (and thus every) cat’s allure. (Picture book. 3-7)