This is one of the most unusual and one of the best of the excellent Boyhood of a Great American series. Benjamin West, father of American painting, was born a Quaker, son of an inn keeper who lived near Philadelphia, in days of wigs and silver buckles. The charming relationship between the boy and a big black cat makes this a first rate boy and cat story, as well as a lively story of a Quaker family who were able to reconcile their teachings with their son's talent. A quiet intensity in the writing makes the boy's struggle to achieve his goal- very real. Tops in supplementary reading.