Wednesday, December 20, 2006


THE CAT WHO WOULDN'T COME INSIDE: BASED ON A TRUE STORY by Cynthia Von Buhler (Houghton Mifflin)
When I was a little girl, I had some amazing fairy tale board books that had pages with lenticular plates featuring photographed scenes of dolls in poses, offering a strange depth, like looking through a Viewmaster simply by staring at the page. Occasionally, I meet people who also had these bizarre and beautiful books, indelible from memory. This book is the closest I've come to those unusual volumes. Carefully positioned clay figures in dollhouse scenes seem ready to stroll off the page in this simple, graceful story of a redheaded woman who takes slow, slow steps towards coaxing a stray cat out of the cold and snow. The book became rather uncomfortably surreal to me because with every passing page the cat becomes more and more like a person, until it was explained to me by a colleague who is also an avid cat fancier that it made perfect sense, because the more you get to know a cat, the more and more human they become (something I did not know, being a "dog person"). The author used her own experience as a cat rescuer as the springboard for this story. Whether or not you are a feline enthusiast, the production values on this book are beautiful; no wonder this artist's work for this book has been traveling to gallery after gallery! The pages are full of small, period-piece details that can be discovered and discussed and with repeated readings, and the claw scratches on the end papers are the cat's meow. The website for the book is just gorgeous, visit for a little taste of the special, special delight that is waiting if you are willing to come inside. (4 and up)

Also of interest:
by Robin Pulver (Albert Whitman) A mischievous abandoned kitten finds its way into a cozy home on Christmas Eve, and catches the jolly old elf in the act! Kitty worries that Santa will put him in the sack like his first owner did, but Santa has other plans for this kitten who is more nice than naughty at heart. Positively adorable paintings capture our pet sipping from the milk left for Santa and climbing the Christmas tree. By the author of PUNCTUATION TAKES A VACATION, the children just loved the drama and declared it their holiday favorite, and it will warm your heart like a roaring yule log. (5 and up)

Links are provided for informational use. Don't forget to support your local bookseller.


Anonymous said...

Esme, I remember reading those holograph-like books at my grandmother's house! We had several Hans Christian Anderson stories; I mostly vividly remember The Little Mermaid. I haven't thought about those in a long time! Thanks for bringing back that memory--and for sharing a new book that I hope to enjoy just as much.

Julie said...

Lenticular plate! Thanks for the correct term!

Cynthia von Buhler said...

Thank you for the review Esme! I'm working on my next book now.

I enjoy your blog and visit it often.


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