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Cat on the Bus
     

Cat on the Bus

by Aram Kim
 

This nearly wordless book uses onomatopoeia and striking bold illustrations to tell the story of a homeless cat who meets an Asian grandfather on a bus and finally finds a home.

A cat enters a grocery store in search of food, but the proprietor shoos her away. A bus approaches offering shelter, but the large-handed, scary-faced driver shouts SCRAM! When another

Overview

This nearly wordless book uses onomatopoeia and striking bold illustrations to tell the story of a homeless cat who meets an Asian grandfather on a bus and finally finds a home.

A cat enters a grocery store in search of food, but the proprietor shoos her away. A bus approaches offering shelter, but the large-handed, scary-faced driver shouts SCRAM! When another bus approaches, the cat runs in with a WHOOSH and meets a grandfatherly gentleman who changes the cat’s circumstances forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/08/2016
In this mostly wordless story, a stray calico cat wanders through a wintry city in search of food, shelter, and sympathy. Beseeching looks don't work with one bus driver ("Scram/ Scoot/ Shoo!"), so when another bus pulls up, the cat dashes in. Fortunately, the cat's seatmate, a kind elderly man, takes the animal home to his granddaughter. Kim makes a solid debut with this story of an endearingly dogged feline who bears a striking resemblance to the iconic maneki neko (happy cat). With no narration (except for a summary "Purrrrrrr-fect" on the final page), the pictures do the heavy lifting, and Kim—who works in generously scaled, clearly delineated shapes—creates a sense of momentum through imaginative framings: one striking image is composed from a viewpoint immediately behind the cat, so that the lines of its head and curvy tail become a kind of frame. The cat's blossoming relationship with the elderly man is beautifully conveyed through small, progressive acts of kindness as he offers a friendly greeting ("Hello, cat!), lets the cat fall asleep undisturbed, and lends his scarf as a blanket and his body as a pillow. Ages 3–6. (July)
Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
A cat feels rejected and lonely in the city. One day, it boards a bus and makes friends with an elderly Asian gentleman who takes the cat home to his granddaughter. The book is nearly wordless, with only the onomatopoeic depiction of the cat’s movements and the shooing away by various adults, providing a rhythm to the story in pictures. Kim’s pastel and colored pencil illustrations depict a cold winter day that turns to snow. Our protagonist, a calico cat, looks more and more dejected until it bounds onto a city bus, where it gleefully hops onto a seat to enjoy the winter scene through the window. There are plenty of details for readers to observe, from the lost glove on an empty bus seat to the holiday decorations in the shop windows. As the cat moves from the cold outside to the warmth of the bus, and eventually to a home, the colors change from cool blues to warm reds and golds, bringing a sense of comfort and security. Readers may also notice a variety of other pets, snuggled in hand bags or carriers, which adds to the satisfaction of the cat finding such a welcoming and loving home. This is an excellent book for igniting a spark of imagination in beginning readers, or better yet, shared with someone you love. Reviewer: Heather Christensen; Ages 2 to 5.
School Library Journal
11/01/2016
PreS-Gr 1—This simple story invites readers to follow the journey of a homeless cat and its search for food and shelter. This almost wordless picture book takes place in winter as the cat forages for food, looking for warmth and shelter. The short phrases of onomatopoeia connect the story; a large font accents the noise: "CLACK. Clang Rattle Clatter!" The artwork is well constructed, evoking emotion with strong lines, perspective, and visual congruency. As the cat searches for warmth, it spots a bus stop and tries to board the vehicle but is forced out. "Scram, Scoot SHOO!" says the angry bus driver. On another page, the use of a paneled spread reveals the cold of winter and time passing as the dejected animal waits for another bus. At last it arrives, and the kind driver allows the cat aboard: "Whoosh!" A sense of hope is imparted as the cat looks out the window at the many people and pets encountering the hustle and bustle of the holiday. At the next stop, an older gentleman takes a seat next to the feline, and before long they are fast friends. The cat is taken to the man's house, which he shares with his granddaughter. The characters' love for the animal becomes evident as the grandfather wraps his scarf around it. Vignettes display the joy between the cat and the little girl as they play, eat, and even share a story until it is time for bed. Front and back flaps foreshadow a happy ending. VERDICT This beautifully designed visual work is sure to please.—Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
2016-07-20
A stray cat finds a new home after hopping onto a passing bus.A simply drawn calico cat stares out from the cover of Kim’s debut. After investigating the contents of an outdoor trash can, the cat ventures into an open doorway. A storekeeper shoos the cat back out, leaving it to sit disconsolately on the sidewalk. As snow begins to fall, a bus pulls up, but the bus driver is unwelcoming. Then a second bus arrives. Snuggled onto an empty seat, the cat is joined by an elderly Asian gentleman who carries it home to a young girl, probably his granddaughter. The text is extremely brief, only 15 words. Most are noises (the “clang” of the trash can, the “whoosh!” of the bus door), a few are simple phrases (“Scat, cat!”), and there’s one rumbling “Purrrrrrrrrr.” The artwork combines pastels and colored pencils with digital techniques. Double-page spreads, single pages, vignettes, and panels offer plenty to look at and convey the storyline clearly. Black outlines and somewhat blocky shapes give the art a childlike feel, while muted colors reinforce the wintry setting. Faces are occasionally awkwardly drawn, but residents of the city are ethnically and racially diverse, and the inclusion of a female African-American bus driver is particularly welcome. This sweet, nearly wordless tale is likely to find an appreciative audience among cat lovers and children just beginning to sound words out on their own. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823436477
Publisher:
Holiday House Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
07/30/2016
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
465,836
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
NP (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Aram Kim was born in Cincinnati, raised in South Korea, and currently lives in New York City. Aram is the author and illustrator of Cat on the Bus, her first picture book.

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