Kate, the Cat and the Moon

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Kate has just drifted off to sleep when a mysterious white cat appears at her window and beckons her out into the night. As Kate follows, she feels herself changing–her ears growing and peaking, her teeth growing tiny and sharp, her tongue roughening. For one glorious night, Kate roams her familiar neighborhood as a cat, jumping and prowling and climbing as she never could before. This dreamy tale, illustrated by Stephen Lambert’s color-drenched pastel drawings, is perfect for ...
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Overview

Kate has just drifted off to sleep when a mysterious white cat appears at her window and beckons her out into the night. As Kate follows, she feels herself changing–her ears growing and peaking, her teeth growing tiny and sharp, her tongue roughening. For one glorious night, Kate roams her familiar neighborhood as a cat, jumping and prowling and climbing as she never could before. This dreamy tale, illustrated by Stephen Lambert’s color-drenched pastel drawings, is perfect for bedtime reading.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Almond (Skellig) ventures into the picture book genre with this small, lyric gem. "Once, in a shining night," the tale begins, as young Kate, summoned by a feline friend, becomes a cat herself. Lambert (Secrets in the Mist) depicts her transformation in the time it takes to run downstairs ("jump, jump, jump, jump!") with a quartet of time-lapse illustrations in a kind of windowpane view. The two cats pay a call on the moon, whose giant cat-face mirrors theirs ("It licked its tiny sharp teeth with its tiny rough tongue") and, in a full-bleed gatefold, Kate the cat and her companions fly over smaller figures of her Mum and Dad on a heart-shaped lake, and over her grandparents, captured in their youth, dancing in a curious, turreted plaza. It turns out the cats are drifting through Kate's family's dreams. The story ends with a deliciously eerie moment. "Next day the talk was all of dreams," states the text, as the family gathers for breakfast. " `I danced all night long with Grandpa at the Roxy!' `Did you dream, Kate?' `Meow,' " says the girl, with a hint of a smile. Lambert's paintings gracefully straddle the line between fantasy and reality. Fields of pink flowers and green plowed pastures under moonlit full, flossy clouds confer the feeling of both flying and dreaming. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
"Once, in a shining night . . . " begins this magical tale of a young girl's imagined journey. Waking up to a cat's meowing call in the moonlight while "a million stars glistened in her eyes," Kate answers by running and jumping down the stairs, emerging as a cat herself, teeth, whiskers, paws and all. As the rest of the family lies in bed, Kate takes off with her fellow cat into the night, under a cat-faced moon and a sky "full of dreams." The poetic text almost has us believing in the transformation and in her subsequent turning back into Kate again in bed. In the morning, as the rest of the family report their dreams, Kate's comment is "Meow." Lambert's pastels create quiet scenes with few details and in colors which evoke emotions of mystery, even of magical possibilities, as Kate becomes a cat. A fold-out textless page offers a wide panorama of the night sky, with enough naturalism in the brief visual tale itself to tell the story. An overarching dreamy quality exploits purples and blues along with the seductive white moon cat. Something has been added to the eyes on both the jacket and the cover to make them shine as well. 2005 (orig. 2004), Doubleday Books for Young Readers/Random House Children's Books, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-This bedtime fantasy is sure to earn Almond new fans. On a moonlit night (full, of course), Kate is awakened by the meow of a cat calling from her family's country garden. As she meows her reply, she begins a transformation from human to feline. She then joins her cat companion on a journey through places both real and imagined, until "the stars went out" and she must return to her bed and to human form. In the morning, Kate's family shares the dreams they had that night. The story ends with the child's "Meow" when she's asked if she remembers hers. The author's short sentences and slow pacing create a satisfying story. Their simplicity makes the book a good choice for readers who are building their independence. Children will be taken with the description of Kate's metamorphosis: her pointy ears, tiny sharp teeth, rough tongue, paws, tail, and whiskers are meticulously noted. The illustrations are a perfect match for this soothing tale, and will capture the imagination of youngsters as the girl changes. Predominantly using hues of lavender, green, and gray, Lambert creates a luminous setting for Kate's adventure. The dream world the pair visits (on full spreads and a foldout) is filled with magical scenery. This book will charm feline fanatics everywhere.-Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a delightful middle-of-the-night flight of freedom, Kate wakes up to a "Meow" and moonlight shining on her face. She tiptoes to the window. A cat is on the garden wall outside. "Kate smiled as she changed"; she touches her newly pointy ears and bounds down the stairs, becoming a cat on the way. Kate and the other cat run past "dreaming houses," "empty roads and massive bridges . . . To a little hill with a stony top," where they see the enormous moon-and a cat. They fly over dreamscapes. Back home, Kate changes back to a human as she jumps into bed. Asked the next morning whether she dreamed, the answer is a satisfied "Meow." The slightly mystical quality of Almond's text seems somewhat mismatched with Lambert's gleeful but more solid visuals. One hopes that Almond will do more picture books with less grounded illustrations that let his odd spiritual tone show through; this one, meanwhile, is a lovely and safe adventure. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385746915
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/27/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 12.00 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

David Almond grew up in a large family in northeastern England and says, “The place and the people have given me many of my stories.” His first novel for children, Skellig, was a Michael L. Printz Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book, and appeared on many best book of the year lists. His second novel, Kit’s Wilderness, won the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults. David Almond lives in England with his partner and their daughter.
Stephen Lambert lives in Cornwall, England, and has illustrated many children’s books, including Secrets in the Mist and Shakespeare’s Tales.
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