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Green Cat
     

Green Cat

by Dayal Kaur Khalsa
 
Having to share a room with a brother or sister can make for hard feelings, and the siblings in this hilarious book are grumpy about their crowded room. At least it seems crowded until Green Cat shows up. He’s going to show us what a really crowded room can look like. By the time he piles in everything from a toaster to a giraffe, the amazed siblings are ready

Overview

Having to share a room with a brother or sister can make for hard feelings, and the siblings in this hilarious book are grumpy about their crowded room. At least it seems crowded until Green Cat shows up. He’s going to show us what a really crowded room can look like. By the time he piles in everything from a toaster to a giraffe, the amazed siblings are ready to admit that sharing a room is not so bad after all.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Khalsa is a wonderful artist who died in 1989…Framed with green borders, each picture is like a stage setting. Kids will adore watching Tom and Lynn's room fill up with all manner of strange and marvelous things, and then see it empty out again. All this excitement, plus a Gumby-like feline mastermind! Khalsa is missed.”
Booklist

“Khalsa’s paintings are splendid – primitive folk art meets Coney Island.”
Publishers Weekly

“The power of Khalsa’s jewel-bright art is undiminished.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Aesop never said it better.”
Time

“As always, Khalsa is smart, wise, funny and poignant…Children will giggle reading this book and marvel over the illustrations. Read it to them and enjoy.”
BOOKS in Canada

“Khalsa puts a delightful spin on this tale…”
Children’s Book News

“…a vivdly colored picturebook featuring brightly colored, eye–catching artwork in a simplistic yet powerful modern style–Enthusiastically recommended for family, school, and community library picturebook collections. Green Cat is an entertaining and memorable storybook lesson about sharing.”
Children’s Bookwatch

“A wonderful contemporary rendition of a classic Yiddish folktale, it’s truly a welcome addition to her unique body of work.”
Quill & Quire

“Another winning book by the late Dayal Kaur Khalsa!”
ABQLA Bulletin

“The illustrations are typical Khalsa: simple, naif, colourful and endearing. The text is lively and rhythmic, with a punchline that is bound to appeal to all ages.”
The Gazette

“In Khalsa’s book, the green…colour scheme has the visual impact of Margaret Wise Brown’s Good Night Moon. But the liveliness and spark is Khalsa, pure joyful Khalsa.”
The Standard

“This is a newly-discovered gem from a creative artist whose death in 1989 brought a too-brief career to an untimely end. It is a brilliant addition to her sadly small body of work. It bursts with all the fun and colour of her previous stories, with a sense of spirit in each spread.”
Brandon Sun

“The clear direct text, the wit and the brilliantly managed colour and liveliness of the illustrations emphasizes what a talent we lost: but oh, the pleasure she left behind.”
The Peace Arch News

Publishers Weekly
In this posthumous publication from Khalsa (The Snow Cat), a giant green cat takes the role traditionally played by a rabbi in the classic folktale of a family that complains of too little space. Here, two siblings say their room is "too small. `I want more space!' each one would shout, And try to toss the other out, into the drafty hall." Every page, save the penultimate, affords the same symmetrical view of a squarish bedroom, a central doorway and twin beds placed foot-to-foot. Green Cat, a teddy-bearish, Gumby-colored fellow, changes their minds. Bit by bit, the cat delivers nonsense items like "A rowboat, a rainbow, A little red calf, Then, just for a laugh, He brought a giraffe." According to the text, the place fills to capacity and gives the children a renewed appreciation for breathing room. But in the pictures, the elevated vantage point and Lilliputian characters (the cat is about an inch tall, the children even smaller) create an illusion of airiness, despite the cacophony of colors. Soupy-green backgrounds dominate the tiny white print and lend a leaden heaviness to the endeavor. Unfortunately, the static layout and undersize artwork nullify any liveliness in this tale. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This newly discovered version of an old folktale is by the author-illustrator who died in 1989. She tells in rhyming verses of a quarreling brother and sister who can't seem to share a room peaceably. When a strange large green cat arrives, he begins to bring into the bare room one assorted object after another, from the mundane to the ridiculous to the incredible. Flags, cats, the Mona Lisa, a giraffe, all jam in until the kids protest. When the cat takes it all away, they realize, in contrast, there is more than enough room for them both. The action takes place in a fixed stage set which Khalsa gradually fills, then empties, with articles painted in her typically stylized fashion�small, simplified, static and organized with a surrealist's eye. The fun of reading the verses is matched by that of watching the scenes change.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Published posthumously, this contemporary story echoes the traditional theme of Margot Zemach's It Could Always Be Worse (Farrar, 1990), Ann McGovern's Too Much Noise (Houghton, 1967), and Joanna Cole's It's Too Noisy (Crowell, 1989; o.p.), all of which are more artfully told and illustrated. Tom and Lynn share a huge bedroom with nothing in it but two beds and still they want more space. Suddenly a tall green cat appears and begins to add a motley collection of things, such as animals, a little Leaning Tower of Pisa, confetti, a table and chairs, until the room is cluttered and chaotic. Finally, the children, sitting on a haybale in the corner, mutter, "We-need-more-room!" In a flat ending, when the cat removes everything, the siblings think that the room is too empty and bring back four kitchen chairs. The rhyme scheme is unusual and the rhythm varies from page to page, making it difficult for young listeners to predict text. The busy paintings are best viewed close-up, thus rewarding readers with small details such as the ever-changing positions of nine cats. For those libraries with followers of Khalsa, the much-beloved artist author of such favorites as When Pizza Came to Queens (Potter, 1989; o.p.) and I Want a Dog (Tundra, 1987), this offering rounds out the collection well enough and compares interestingly with folktale versions of the story.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Tom and Lynn share a room, and each feels crowded by the other. Children will giggle at that, because the room the siblings share seems huge and spacious, occupied only by two beds that face each other. One night, a Green Cat-an upright, two-legged sort of fellow-appears, and begins to fill the room, first with all the accoutrements for the children's favorite meal of toast: toast, kitchen table and chairs, napkins, plates, honey. But he also includes a bale of hay and a pig, and two packages of gum. The story (and the rhyming) goes on: geese in party hats, the Mona Lisa, a rainbow, numerous animals, and confetti (included, no doubt, to rhyme with spaghetti). Lynn and Tom huddle in a corner, muttering once again for more room, so Green Cat removes all of it, piece by piece. It is so empty when he's done that the siblings "tiptoed down the stairs, / And brought back up the kitchen chairs." Khalsa died in 1989; this charmingly surreal, "newly discovered" story takes its origins from folktale. Text is white on pea-green; the images, framed on each page, are done in flat areas of saturated color. The accretion of small objects builds up-pointillism crossed with mosaic-so children can find them all and then watch them disappear. Very satisfying. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887765865
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Pages:
24
Product dimensions:
8.54(w) x 10.52(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Dayal Kaur Khalsa was born in Queens, New York. She traveled for many years before settling in Canada, where she wrote and illustrated stories about her childhood: her love for her gambling grandmother, her desire for a pet dog, and the wonderful day she discovered a new food, pizza. Dayal Kaur Khalsa died in 1989.

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