GHOST CAT by Kevan Atteberry


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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A young child describes the behavior of a spectral cat.

Straightforward first-person narration combines with simply composed illustrations to explain why the child believes that a ghost cat shares the house with them. Although they admit that “It’s always gone before I can really see it,” they’re convinced that the cat is moving around, engaged in typical feline behaviors like scratching, rubbing, cuddling, and meowing. Illustrations that show upended books and bowls and a traumatized fish provide additional, gently humorous evidence to support their hypothesis. When they finally catch a glimpse of the ghost cat (readers have seen it all along—gray-blue surrounded by a haze of white with staring yellowish eyes), it’s on its way out, or rather “through,” the front door. The child opens the door to find an apparently corporeal white kitten waiting there. Atteberry’s digitally created artwork features a limited but appealing palette of primarily warm golds and browns and cool blues, punctuated with greens and yellows. Lightly sketched backgrounds are spare in detail, though a few carefully placed photos suggest that the child and cat once shared their home in a more conventional fashion. The minimal detail extends to the child’s face, which is very expressive despite the absence of a mouth (the child has beige skin and a shock of straight, brown hair).

Losing a pet is always difficult; finding a new one isn’t the solution for everyone, but in this case, it’s a decidedly happy development. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 11th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4283-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2019


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