Catkin

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Overview

One of those rare picture books that resonates, in word and image, with the wisdom of myth and folklore, Catkin tells the story of a cat who is so small he can sit in the palm of a child's hand. Given to a farmer and his wife to keep watch over their baby girl, Catkin proves his merit when he must rescue the child from the merry, heedless Little People.

When a tiny, magical cat carelessly allows a young girl to be captured by the Little People, he must confront her ...

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Overview

One of those rare picture books that resonates, in word and image, with the wisdom of myth and folklore, Catkin tells the story of a cat who is so small he can sit in the palm of a child's hand. Given to a farmer and his wife to keep watch over their baby girl, Catkin proves his merit when he must rescue the child from the merry, heedless Little People.

When a tiny, magical cat carelessly allows a young girl to be captured by the Little People, he must confront her captors and solve three cunning riddles in order to rescue her.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Barber (The Mousehole Cat) and Lynch's (East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon) elegant collaboration rings with the depth and nostalgia of the best fairy stories and the primacy of myth. When a Wise Woman sees danger in young Carrie's future, she provides the girl with a feline protector, Catkin. The girl and her cat are inseparable until the day that a butterfly distracts Catkin, and the Little People bear away the child to their underworld. At the risk of binding himself to the Little People forever, Catkin undertakes the strenuous task of returning the child to her devastated parents. Luminous illustrations complement the graceful text, reflecting the shadows and sunshine of the two worlds. The Little People's underground kingdom is swathed in deep greens, moss and earth tones, while Catkin and Carrie themselves gleam with a golden aura. The sense of legend that pervades this work is borne out by the formal design, which incorporates art of varying sizes and handsome framing devices. Ages 4-up. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Extensive text and rich, realistic paintings bring baby Carrie and Catkin to life. Based on a Norwegian tale, Catkin is a feline nanny to the beloved child of a farmer and his wife. While Catkin is chasing a butterfly, the Little People come and snatch away the infant. Under the rocks in the garden, Catkin must find clever ways to free the child. Middle readers-especially reluctant ones-still love picture books and this magical tale of courage and adventure will steal hearts.
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Catkin, the small golden cat, loves the child Carrie. But he is careless, and Carrie is kidnapped by the "wee folk" who live under the hill. Only Catkin can venture into their home to rescue her. In a plot tight with suspense, the cat must solve three riddles to win back the child he loves. All seems lost, but as in the best of myths and fables, a happy ending awaits the reader. The little cat's soul shines through in both text and illustrations.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Told in folkloric cadence, Barber's story is about the rescue of baby Carrie, who was switched for a changeling by the Little People. The hero of the tale is a multitalented cat called Catkin, so named because he was ``...so small that he could sit in comfort on the palm of a man's hand.'' Because Carrie was stolen while in Catkin's care, the furry fellow risks all to venture into the enchanted land inside the hill. There, of course, he answers three riddles, the last of which frees Carrie but also binds him to that land forever. Posed with a final dilemma, the Lord of the Little People seeks guidance from the Wise Woman; her solution is to have the child and cat spend each winter in the underground realm and return to their own land each spring. The language is graceful and traditionally formal, and the story is charming, resonating of the Tam Lin and Persephone legends. The full-color illustrations, mostly on pages facing text, are dark and magical, and use light and shadow impressively to create drama. Elegantly designed, with Celtic-inspired borders and backgrounds, the book is a sensory pleasure. Independent readers will enjoy it on their own, and it will be a fine choice for read-aloud as well.-Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564029768
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 11/4/1996
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.22 (d)

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