I Am the Cat

I Am the Cat

by Alice Schertle, Mark Buehner
     
 

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Clever? Certainly
Conceited? Of course.
Graceful and greedy and proud.

In poems and paintings as wise and wicket as the Cat herself, Alice Schertle and Mark Buehner present this most magnificent of creatures in all her glory: taunting the dogs, stalking a mouse, mistress of both earth and sky � and ever mindful of her own splendid role! Who can resist her

Overview

Clever? Certainly
Conceited? Of course.
Graceful and greedy and proud.

In poems and paintings as wise and wicket as the Cat herself, Alice Schertle and Mark Buehner present this most magnificent of creatures in all her glory: taunting the dogs, stalking a mouse, mistress of both earth and sky � and ever mindful of her own splendid role! Who can resist her charms? Here then, the CAT!

Clever? Certainly.
Conceited? Of course.
Graceful and greedy and proud.

In poems and paintings as wise and wicked as the Cat herself, Alice Schertle and Mark Buehner present this most magnificent of creatures in all her glory: taunting the dogs, stalking a mouse, "mistress of both earth and sky" - and ever mindful of her own splendid role! Who can resist her charms? Here then, the CAT!

Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
(Primary, Intermediate)
The essential cat, in all its haughty self-assurance, is brought to vivid life in this captivating volume that alternates haiku with longer, rhyming verses. Poems laced with irony, surprise, and humor and composed of rhythms as sinuous as their subject evoke cats in various manifestations: an entitled sovereign enjoying the comfort of an easy chair or a sun puddle, a languid provocateur teasing the neighborhood dogs, or a playful kitten stalking dust balls and raindrops. The best poem in the collection describes a halcyon time when the cat could fly, before she fell from grace by drinking from the moon. The book ends with a triplet of haiku that affirms the cat's timeless and enigmatic allure. "Wrapped in the perfect / curve of her tail, she poses / motionless as stone." Realistic oil and acrylic full-page paintings (striking enough that an invitation to find animals hidden in each page seems an unnecessary distraction) illustrate a book that holds its own in the cat-poetry category. n.v.
Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
Cats know they rule. For those of us who don't understand that, books like this one act as "Cliff Notes." Schertle's poems are sleek, omniscient and self-assured, much like the felines she celebrates. Full of rich yet accessible imagery, they're terrific read-alouds. Illustrator Buehner, who works in acrylic and oil paints, has hidden critters in every page; watch for the elusive Tyrannosaurus Rex and the persistent bunny motif.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-6Four longer poems alternate with haiku in this slim, bold collection that observes different cats in tones both affectionate and sardonic. In the beginning,/when the Cat could fly,/the Master placed a pan/of white milk/in the sky. So begins an account of a feline in paradise whose silken wings are taken away when she falls from grace. In the end, shes reduced to running through a rainy alleyway with snarling dogs in pursuit. In four double-page spreads, another poem celebrates Sophies canine-taunting exploits, until, The last thing she heard/was a triumphant growl/as his jaws closed around her./Twas murder most foul. Done in acrylic and oil paints, Buehners dark-hued view of the terrified cat passing just in front of the toothy open mouth of the dog speaks volumes about Sophies nightmarish demise. Other illustrations are lighter in tone, and there are always bits of humor. Figures of mice and fish are outlined in a cats fur, and other small animals peek out of unexpected places. Perspective and shadow add interesting nuances to scenes that are sometimes cartoonlike and often a bit surreal. The final entry features a tawny tabby set against a copper-toned spoof of an Egyptian mural with cats in human form. These amusing images are enlarged on the endpapers. The strong pictures and verses offer enjoyable browsing and reading-aloud material and opportunities to pair with other items in booktalking.Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
All aspects of the personality of a cat, no matter how maligned, are seen through a set of witty poems and pictures full of visual puns. Egyptian hieroglyphs on the endpapers hint at the cat's timelessness, followed by the collection itself, introduced with a close-up of a cat's face and one paw swiping through a mousehole at the resident, hilariously backed into a corner. For every lyrical haiku setting forth a single attribute of cats, a longer poem appears to contradict—even demolish—it. After a lovely scene of a cat lapping at the reflection of a moon in a puddle comes a Genesis-like telling of the cat's fall from grace because it sipped from the moon. A haiku on the one feather found on a cat's whiskers gives way to a poem on stalking mice, right to the crushing last line, "Mine!" In "Sophie, Who Taunted the Dogs," the sublime Sophie meets with a very grisly end after teasing neighborhood dogs. If cats are cuddly, queenly, sneaky, devilish, and aloof, they are captured here, attribute by attribute. Children will rush to find cats, rabbits, mice, and T-rexes Buehner shows hiding in the rain puddles of a city street or the cracks of a broken headlight, posing as clouds or doubling as leaves in a field. (Picture book/poetry. 5-10) .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688131531
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/24/1999
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.65(w) x 11.33(h) x 0.69(d)
Age Range:
6 - 11 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Cat's Version

In the beginning,
when the Cat could fly,
the Master placed a pan
of white milk
in the sky.
"The world is yours," he told the Cat.
"Eat everything. Grow fat.
Live off the land.
Keep only this command:
You must not drink the moon."

And so the Cat was mistress
of both earth and sky.
(I told you that
the Cat
could fly.)
She soared on silken wings
as own or kestrel might,
and dropped with ease
to seize
whatever pleased her appetite.

But, oh! The moon!
Her green eyes burned
to see it hanging there.
And when her Master's back was turned,
she flew up through the air and drank it dry.
Then, seeing what she did,
she sank down
from the sky
and hid.

She licked her paw
and rubbed her face.
She could not wash away
the trace of sin.
The Master found the Cat with moonmilk
on her chin.
His awful voice cried,
"Scat!"
And so she fell from grace.
He took away her wings....

You understand,
the Cat
has had a taste
of higher things
than living low like
common bugs and frogs,
keeping alleyways,
and being chased
by dogs.

My cat strolls into
the house with one small feather
stuck to her whisker

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