Cats of Myth: Tales from Around the World

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Cats have been worshiped and honored by human beings since ancient times. Here are nine stories that pay homage to the mysterious, magical, nine-lived cat, who has faithfully guided and protected us through the ages.

In these pages, you'll meet the tabby who, in the time of beginnings, decided that a human hearth was the proper place for a cat. You'll discover a Japanese bobtail who uses her cunning and martial arts skills to protect a master swordsman from an uppity rat. And ...

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Overview

Cats have been worshiped and honored by human beings since ancient times. Here are nine stories that pay homage to the mysterious, magical, nine-lived cat, who has faithfully guided and protected us through the ages.

In these pages, you'll meet the tabby who, in the time of beginnings, decided that a human hearth was the proper place for a cat. You'll discover a Japanese bobtail who uses her cunning and martial arts skills to protect a master swordsman from an uppity rat. And you'll find a Siamese who helps her owner defeat a monster and win the hand of a princess.

These stories come from a wide variety of cultures around the world, ranging from ancient Egypt to the Polynesian islands of the Pacific to the German-Swiss Alps. The Hausmans' storytelling style varies to complement each culture, but their infallible ear makes each tale an irresistible read-aloud. And Leslie Baker's delicate watercolors beautifully capture the features of many different breeds. Cats of Myth is a thoroughly enjoyable tribute to our most clever companion, the mystical cat.

A collection of stories from Egypt, India, Japan, Scandinavia, Ireland and other places that portray cats as goddesses, guardians, tricksters, warriors, magicians, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
From the Butter Cat of Norway to laughing cats of Polynesia, cats have been featured in story since ancient times. This collection offers nine stories that pay homage to this entrancing, mysterious creature that has consented to share the lives of people. The stories come from a wide variety of cultures, from Asian Indian to Middle European to ancient Egyptian. They include some surprising characters, like the pirate's cat Kit Cat from the Bahamas, whose words might well offer a summary of these intriguing tales, "What cats cannot do hasn't been done." Baker's watercolor illustrations capture the spirit of these feline protagonists, and the diversity of the story settings. Afterwords provide background for each story, and identify the breed of cat featured in it. 2000, Publishing House Limited, Ages 6 to 12, $19.95. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-East Indian, Japanese, Jamaican, German, Czech, Egyptian, and other traditions were tapped to provide fodder for this thoughtful look at the many roles in which cats are cast in traditional mythology-creator, trickster, goddess, monster, and guardian. Baker's lively full- and double-page watercolor illustrations enhance the 10 tales, bringing out the innocent, humorous, or regal qualities of the feline in question. An afterword follows each smoothly written selection, providing additional facts about an individual breed or elucidating cultural references. Entertaining whether read alone or aloud, this attractive volume is a good companion to the Hausmans' Dogs of Myth (S & S, 1999), presented in the same format with Barry Moser's illustrations.-Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
As a companion to Dogs of Myth (1999), illustrated by Barry Moser, the Hausmans offer nine (naturally) tales of puissant pussies, each depicted in luminous watercolors by a premier illustrator of cats. Divided by type—Creation, Trickster, Goddess, Monster, etc.—the stories come from a variety of cultures. They are freely retold with a fine sense of humor and an often clever turn of phrase. Until, troll-turned-kitty, Sweet Butter tricks him into abdicating, the troll king"Rumble Grumble was bad news." Or in a Japanese tale: a canny old temple cat overcomes a"ninja rat." And loosely based on an actual incident, an invading army bloodlessly captures the city of Tisseh (Pelusium) by marching up to the gates holding cats rather than swords. The authors add discussions of themes and breeds to each tale, and close the collection with source notes. Except for the all-devouring Whittle Cat, the felines here are beneficent, if self-interested, so readers who feel that cats have gotten a bad rap in folklore will purr over this engaging gathering. (Folktales. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689823206
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 11/1/2000
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 6 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.54 (d)

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