Black Cat

Black Cat

by Christopher Myers, Christopher A. Myers
     
 

On an eye-opening journey through urban landscapes, a stray black cat leaps, listens, and dances to the city's pulsating beats while searching for a home. Cool hip-hop rhythms and innovative collage artwork combine to create a book layered with meaning about identity, beauty, and home. Full color.  See more details below

Overview

On an eye-opening journey through urban landscapes, a stray black cat leaps, listens, and dances to the city's pulsating beats while searching for a home. Cool hip-hop rhythms and innovative collage artwork combine to create a book layered with meaning about identity, beauty, and home. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Horn Book Magazine
In evoking the style and spirit of a streetwise feline, Black Cat travels independent and unfettered through urban landscapes. Dynamic, haunt-ing, dramatic, the book is a multisensory experience. It immediately attracts attention through a series of striking photo-collages enhanced with gouache and ink. An authoritative typeface holds an interpretive poem whose rhythms and concepts serve as both descant from and commentary on the illustrations. The use of a simple refrain ("black cat, black cat, we want to know / where's your home, where do you go?") provides a unifying element; in the end, the cat responds that his home is "anywhere I roam," thus reaffirming the tone set by its antics-climbing fences, scaling walls, balancing on neon signs. Edgy, visceral, this dazzling book captures the rhythms of the city and the gritty beauty of the urban landscape.
Hungry Mind Review
Imagination and realism play off each other in an exhilarating celebration of urban structures and spaces, from the cars and platforms of the New York subway to slick pavement and hot, tarred roofs.
Children's Literature - Gwendolyn Bradley
This striking book follows a black cat as its wanders through the city over the course of a night and a day. Mostly unrhymed poetry describes the cat's activities as it dashes across streets, drinks from fire hydrants, and chases rats in the subway. Punctuating this is the book's refrain: "Black cat, black cat, we want to know / where's your home, where do you go?" The unique aspect of the book is its artwork--collages featuring photographs of New York streets mixed with other media and full of odd angles, juxtapositions, and plenty of black--in short, not your typical children's art. By the last page, when we finally get the cat's answer, it has long been apparent that the real protagonist of the story is not the cat but the city itself. Myers also illustrated the award-winning book Harlem.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Gr 2-5-A rhythmic ramble through an urban landscape led by a sleek and savvy feline. Striking collage paintings and hip verse pulsate with the sights and sounds of the city. (Mar.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Dramatic, evocative perspectives capture the sense of the inner city and the enigmatic existence of a street-smart, no-nonsense cat roaming there. Rhythmic poetry poses questions about the golden-eyed animal with lines like: "black cat, black cat, we want to know/where's your home, where do you go?" As readers follow the creature across car hoods, wire fence rims, and into subway cars, the starkness and harshness of the city are provocatively drawn. The bold collage art that incorporates photographs, ink, and gouache contrasts the sinuous movements of the cat against the angular urban cityscape of roof tops, ball courts, and fire escapes. Myers's style carries a familiarity from Harlem (Scholastic, 1997) but here the illustrations are full page, with no white space, and the white-and-colored text on black backgrounds adds to the somewhat ominous tone, effectively conveying a secretive, haunting mood shaped by lingering images. This creative work pulses with city rhythms and scenarios, just waiting to be discovered and discussed.-Julie Cummins, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Myers (Walter Dean Myers's Harlem, 1997) makes use of an idea with promise-following the trail of a black cat on its urban beat—but the result is less a hip city tour than a tortured grab at cool. Photographs form the backgrounds on which paint is layered, heightening some effects, flattening others. Onto these tinkered photographs are grafted cut-outs of a cat in various feline poses: licking a raised leg, strutting along a rooftop, preparing to pounce. Aspects of the cityscape are well served by the artistic approach—night scenes, building facades, sidewalks. But the text can be contradictory and obscure ("hearing the quiet language of invisible trains") or, perhaps unintentionally, terrifying ("watching children screaming in playground cages"). (Picture book. 5-9) .

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780590033756
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/28/1999
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.36(w) x 11.22(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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