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CARAMBA by Marie-Louise Gay


by Marie-Louise Gay & illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-88899-667-5
Publisher: Groundwood

A wry twist of the adage, “If pigs could fly” and the axiom, “Be true to yourself.” Caramba looks like any other cat but he is different—he can’t fly! Taunted by the other cats, his many attempts all fail so he gives up, wondering what is wrong with him. One day his cousins Bijou and Bug give him a flying lesson by holding his paws between them as they fly, and Caramba experiences the thrill of soaring in the air. “Don’t be a scaredy cat,” they cry as they let go, and Caramba flies—straight down into the ocean where he glides through the water, which feels just like flying: Caramba could swim! Airy, wavy watercolor, pencil and pastel illustrations blithely detail the trouser- or dress-wearing cats. Gay’s fluid lines and style, similar to her Sam and Stella books, are what make the quirky story appealing. Adults may wonder why the cat is named Caramba—there’s seemingly no rhyme or reason—but kids won’t care; they’ll enjoy his flight of discovery. (Picture book. 4-7)