Long Tail Kitty
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Long Tail Kitty

by Lark Pien
     
 

Lark Pien's clever, precise, unique comics are favorites with graphic-novel fans, and Long Tail Kitty marks her debut in the children's-book world. Meet Long Tail Kitty and his friends and neighbors: a bee who's friends with the flowers (at least the nice ones); Good Tall Mouse, who likes ice skating; and a family of aliens who drop in for one night of fun. The

Overview

Lark Pien's clever, precise, unique comics are favorites with graphic-novel fans, and Long Tail Kitty marks her debut in the children's-book world. Meet Long Tail Kitty and his friends and neighbors: a bee who's friends with the flowers (at least the nice ones); Good Tall Mouse, who likes ice skating; and a family of aliens who drop in for one night of fun. The warmth and visual wit of these stories are sure to win over young readers, who will want to return again and again to Long Tail Kitty's house, by the hill, by the meadow, by the lake, by the river, by the town, by the bridge on the street where he lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Newcomer Pien's aptly named protagonist, who debuted in comics Pien created starting in 2001, now appears in a full-color collection of five original stories, rich in friendly, blissfully unironic conversations. Mischievous but goodhearted Long Tail Kitty ice-skates with his new friend Good Tall Mouse, fixes supper with said mouse as well as Bernice the dog and has a playdate with some friendly aliens. By the time readers hit the foldout page with nearly 70 fun games Long Tail Kitty has planned to do with the aliens—which range from “Office Jobs!” to “Crazy Tornado!”—they'll be converts. The panels are resolutely low-tech; Long Tail Kitty and friends are drawn with a few deft brushstrokes, while watercolors soften but draw little attention to themselves. Pien embraces ideals of compassion but doesn't hit readers over the head with them. After a bee stings him, Long Tail Kitty bridles at the bee's request to return his stinger, but when he imagines life without his own tail (“There would be nothing to keep my stripe up! My bellybutton would show!”), he relents. More, please! Ages 4–up. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Lark Pien has produced a truly wonderful prototype of what might become a new genre of children's literature—a graphic beginning chapter book for emerging readers. The opening chapter, "Where I Live," literally walks the reader through a map of Long Tail Kitty's world; at the same time it anticipates what will happen in each of the four chapters. The narrative voice has a nice "kid-speak" authenticity. A couple of bonus pages at the end of the book show how to draw Long Tail Kitty and provide an index of his moods. This book could easily become a family favorite but it also has great potential for classrooms that are exploring mapping, emotions, or appreciating diversity, whether the difference reflects those around us or aliens from out of space. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4–Long Tail Kitty talks like any youngster eager to share a story. Children will enjoy the simple language that he uses to introduce himself and his friends. The book starts with where he lives and progresses to what happens when he plays in a meadow, makes friends, and eats food. The story is organized into short vignette-style chapters. Long Tail Kitty encounters flowers with feelings, talks to a “greedy grumpy grateful bee,” becomes friends with Good Tall Mouse, and plays with aliens from outer space. Children will enjoy Pien’s alliteration and her soft, pastel watercolors. Bonus pages include how to draw Long Tail Kitty and how to show his many moods. Give this to youngsters new to the graphic-novel format.–Lisa Gieskes, CA Johnson Preparatory Academy, Columbia, SC
Kirkus Reviews
Long Tail Kitty narrates five episodes of his daily life. First he introduces his house and his town, including landmarks from each of his tales. He picks flowers, finds they can talk and plays chase with a bee. In winter he slides on the ice and has cocoa with Good Tall Mouse. He hosts a food fest with friends and refrains from eating all the Choco Crispy Doggy Discs. Finally, he spends an activity-filled day with buddies from outer space. Pien, the colorist for the Printz Award-winning American Born Chinese, liberates her character Long Tail Kitty from his mini-comics in her first solo work for a young audience. The watercolor sequential art on creamy paper in mostly pastels and neutrals is full of action and dry, slight humor-especially the gatefold page of all 70 games LTK plays with his alien friends. That said, the stories meander despite their brevity. The "bonus pages" showing how to draw LTK and his many moods are a plus. Despite its charm, however, this is not a first purchase. (Graphic fiction. 6-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781934706442
Publisher:
Blue Apple Books
Publication date:
09/09/2009
Pages:
51
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lark Pien: Lark Pien was a comics-obsessed kid—especially Peanuts, Old Master Q, and Uncanny X-men. She carried her fandom into formal training in both art and architecture. As Lark became more adept at creating her own handmade mini-comics, she decided to make art and illustration her full-time profession. Since then, she made her debut with Long Tail Kitty, was proclaimed a Best New Talent and won the Harvey Award for her coloring work on Gene Luen Yang's Printz-winning American Born Chinese. The San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum and other fine arts museums have featured Lark's collected works.

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