THE BOY WHO DREW CATS by Margaret Hodges

THE BOY WHO DREW CATS

adapted by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

An artist is born in Hodges’s shortened retelling of a classic tale from Japan. Unable to stop drawing cats on every available surface, young acolyte Sesshu Toyo is expelled from one temple. He takes shelter for the night in another that is, unknown to him, haunted by a goblin. After sweeping away the dust and, of course, drawing cats on the walls, he retires to a small cabinet—to be awakened by sounds of a ferocious battle, and greeted the following morning by the sight of a huge dead rat goblin surrounded by drawings of bloody-mouthed cats. Sogabe (Hungriest Boy in the World, 2001, etc.) uses cut paper over painted backgrounds to create strongly defined forms with subtly airbrushed shadows, and puts plump, deceptively peaceful-looking felines into nearly every scene. Hodges concludes by noting that Sesshu Toyo went on to become a famous artist—“ ‘ . . . but once he was just a boy who drew cats, just a child like you.’ ” Sogabe shows only the goblin’s tail, and does not depict the battle at all; readers more inured to terror may prefer Arthur Levine’s eerie, atmospheric version of the story (1994), illustrated by Frederic Clement. (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 15th, 2002
ISBN: 0-8234-1594-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2002




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