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Cats Vanish Slowly

Cats Vanish Slowly

by Ruth Tiller, Laura L. Seeley (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Only an accomplished poet could wind her way as gracefully and surefootedly around and through perfectly chosen words and phrases as Tiller does in these 12 verses about cats; and only a chronic ailurophile could portray the elusive, often mysterious feline personality with such affection as Seeley. Beginning with ``Melting Pot,'' which enumerates the denizens of Grandmother's house (``There was room in her heart for each one''), Tiller (Cinnamon, Mint and Mothballs) goes on to describe not just the cats there, but a gentle, bygone way of life (``In midsummer the leaves sagged like listless flags''). Her poems are sometimes funny (``B.P. was a criminal cat'' with ``a swagger to rival James Dean's''), often tender or dramatic. Seeley's (Agatha's Feather Bed) painterly illustrations-some full page, some small pieces that precede the verses-feature cats with distinctive, true-to-life expressions, postures and identities. But the reflective, frequently nostalgic mood of the poems and the unvarying earnestness of the art seems likelier to please adult cat fanciers more than children. Ages 6-10. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Andrea Brott
If you're like most people, you either love cats or you hate them. It helps to be in the former category if you pick up this book, because each of the sixteen poems is about a different cat (or aspect of cat ownership). Some of the poems contain beautiful images ("In midsummer the leaves sagged like listless flags..."), and all reflect a lifetime of loving observations on the vagaries of feline behavior. Unfortunately, a few of the poems also have a tendency to end either sentimentally or tritely ("I chose to believe you could guide me/but perhaps you were just a feline"). Although the subject matter is simple, the vocabulary is often quite sophisticated ("sinuosity," "affable," "perverse," "stubbled," "mosaic oneness"); even very verbal children may find the poems hard to follow without adult guidance. For true cat-lovers, however, Seeley's delightful paintings alone are worth the price of the book. Vivid and realistic, they greatly enhance the text. Atlanta,
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-Twelve free-form poems depict unique feline personalities. Colorful imagery lovingly evokes the characteristics and traits of the different cats, and soft, detailed paintings capture their dignity, humor, and mysticism. An additional purchase for libraries, this volume is best suited as a gift book for cat lovers.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY
Susan Dove Lempke
In a format reminiscent of T. S. Eliot's "Book of Practical Cats", but considerably more accessible, Tiller's collection of 12 poems captures the personalities of the cats on her grandmother's farm, among them B.P. (bad penny), the "criminal cat" who always returns, and Cougar, who only lives up to her fierce name when dreaming. Along with descriptions of the cats come loving depictions of Tiller's grandmother and great-aunt, "different as sugar and salt," and of the farm in summer when it's too hot for anything but curling "in a rocking chair by the front porch door with a bundle of fur in your lap." Seeley's paintings are as evocative as the poems, catching cats in their many shapes, colors, and moods. Children may not understand every reference--James Dean and witch hazel, for example--but that won't prevent them from fully enjoying this cat-lover's delight.

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 12.28(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

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