Cat, You Better Come Home

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Overview

One cold winter's night, the elegant Puff decides to run away from home. Tired of cat food, she wants to eat what people eat. She goes to Europe where she becomes fabulously rich as a TV cat-food spokes-cat, and soon she is dripping in diamonds and mink, living it up on beaches in Greece and villas in France, and attended by her personal butler and masseuse. It's the high life for Puff, until one day when she and her owl boyfriend meet disaster in Copenhagen. Then it's scratch, scratch, scratch on the windowsill ...
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Overview

One cold winter's night, the elegant Puff decides to run away from home. Tired of cat food, she wants to eat what people eat. She goes to Europe where she becomes fabulously rich as a TV cat-food spokes-cat, and soon she is dripping in diamonds and mink, living it up on beaches in Greece and villas in France, and attended by her personal butler and masseuse. It's the high life for Puff, until one day when she and her owl boyfriend meet disaster in Copenhagen. Then it's scratch, scratch, scratch on the windowsill ... Garrison Keillor's wit and style distinguish this soulful fable adapted from one of his popular "Cat Songs." Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher's paintings give the haughty Puff the comic grace and feline pathos she deserves.

An ungrateful cat leaves home for the high life, only to return with his tail between his legs. A delightful story from the humorist whose radio show A Prairie Home Companion put the Midwest back on the map, with paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
What happens to an uppity cat when she gets a taste of the ``good life''? When Keillor does the spinning, the tale takes a slyly farcical turn, like the best of his Prairie Home Companion radio skits. Bouncy, syncopated verse (adapted from one of Keillor's folksongs) tells of Puff's rise and fall as ``the Number One TV cat-food queen'' at the same time that it wryly mocks the one-sided relationship between haughty feline and supplicating owner. Feeling underappreciated, Puff departs in a huff to seek her fortune, leaving the despondent narrator wailing, ``CAT, YOU BETTER COME HOME.'' Johnson and Fancher, who previously collaborated on Jon Scieszka's The Frog Prince, Continued, play up the details of Puff's transformation. She is all Hollywood feline femme-fatale, stretched out on a divan in a mink boa, or surrounded by her entourage (``A swimming instructor, and a butler named Bruce/ And a ballet coach, and a German masseuse''-the swimming teacher is a be-goggled octopus, while the butler is a formally attired bloodhound bearing a bowl of goldfish atop a silver tray). The rich, honey-toned paintings accentuate the humor with slightly skewed perspectives; intermittent blocks of text are decorated with cartoonish sketches. Young readers may miss some of the references in the text and the art, but ailurophiles will rejoice. All ages. (May)
Children's Literature - Dawna Lisa Buchanan
As fond as I am of Garrison Keillor, this story, like many "celebrity" books for children, fails to hit the mark. Puff the cat takes umbrage when she notices that her owner serves great food to human guests, but she is not even offered "the liver pate!" Written in verse with somewhat shaky scansion, the refrain is taken from the title, and when Puff runs away, her owner repeatedly longs for her to come home. She has a considerable number of improbable adventures, becoming a cat model in Greece where she lives in a "ten-room manse" and speaks to people in a "European purr!" We follow her to Valenciennes, then Copenhagen, where she purchases outlandish amounts of jewelry and finally buys a yacht. Champagne is involved. When the boat sinks, her hangers-on and on-lookers assume she is "deceased" and hang out a sign that reads "Requiescat pacem." Eventually, overweight and rueful, she returns home, where she is warmly greeted (and put on a strict diet). The story concludes with this rather confusing moral: "If other cats could only know to hang their hats on the status quo, And make the best of what they've got, And be who you are and not what you're not. For the very worst thing a cat can do is to make all its dreams come true. So cats, you better come home. You can seek your fortune, but nevertheless, Remember your name and your address, because someday you'll need to come home." Surrealistic and richly colored oil paintings do add appeal to the book, interspersed with Seuss-like cartoon sketches. This book might appeal to certain readers, especially those in search of unusual words and premises, but it's not likely to be a favorite of many children. Reviewer: Dawna Lisa Buchanan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140562279
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/1997
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor, author of nearly a dozen books, is founder and host of the acclaimed radio show A Prairie Home Companion and the daily program The Writer's Almanac. He is also a regular contributor to Time magazine.
Steve Johnson lives in Minneapolis, MN.
Lou Fancher lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Biography

Garrison Keillor is the author of thirteen books, including Lake Wobegon Summer 1956, Wobegon Boy, and Lake Wobegon Days. From 1999-2001, Keillor wrote a column "Dear Mr. Blue: Advice for Lovers and Writers" on Salon.com. Keillor's popular Saturday-night public radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, is in its twenty-seventh season. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and daughter.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Gary Edward Keillor (real name)
      Garrison Keillor
    2. Hometown:
      St. Paul, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 7, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Anoka, Minnesota
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Minnesota, 1966

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2004

    A classic

    This is a whimsical book with wonderful art work. This book is the tale of a boy's unconditional love for a prodigal cat. It emphasizes that you can still love and be loved even when you have been disappointed or have disappointed another.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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