My Cat Isisby Catherine Austen
Striking collage illustrations bring to life a boy's comparisons of his beloved cat to Isis, goddess of Egyptian myth.The goddess Isis was the revered daughter of the earth and sky. The cat Isis is a family pet who is just as special. This dazzling work of paper- and photo-collage, painting and pen-and-ink illustration is both an homage to a
Striking collage illustrations bring to life a boy's comparisons of his beloved cat to Isis, goddess of Egyptian myth.The goddess Isis was the revered daughter of the earth and sky. The cat Isis is a family pet who is just as special. This dazzling work of paper- and photo-collage, painting and pen-and-ink illustration is both an homage to a beloved feline and a journey into the realm of Ancient Egyptian myth and the goddess Isis. Through a series of lighthearted comparisons between his cat and its goddess namesake, the boy narrator reveals both similarities and differences between the two worlds. An ideal book for pet lovers and lovers of ancient history alike!
Less than the sum of its parts, this effort to educate young listeners about aspects of Egyptian culture while simultaneously celebrating the love of a young boy for his pet never quite comes together. Austen's text is straightforward. A sentence on the left page describes the goddess Isis' appearance, role and history, while the right-hand page offers an observation, usually cleverly linked, about the unnamed narrator's cat. These provide some humor but will be appreciated more by adult readers than children. For example, "Isis and Osiris had a baby who became the sky god, Horus," is immediately followed by "We had my Isis spayed." Sophisticated vocabulary and concepts further distance young listeners, who may be confused by the fact that Isis and Osiris are brother and sister and have little context to understand the notion that they "gave people agriculture, law and civilization." Cleverly designed to resemble scraps of parchment, the illustrations of the goddess are effective and evocative. Cat Isis and her owner don't fare so well, and the artwork only reinforces the failure of the text Made from a mix of photographs, paper, paintings and pen-and-ink illustrations, textures are intriguing and proportions generally correct, but the glassy eyes give the beloved cat a slightly creepy look, while the boy winds up looking unfortunately like a burn victim. An intriguing effort that misses the mark. (Picture book. 6-8)
Meet the Author
Catherine finds inspiration in nature, family life, books, museums and physical exercise. She gets the best ideas while walking her dog, Charlie. One day she tried to write a story called ?The Two Cleos? about a cat named after Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt. Her cat, Isis, interrupted the story by lying on the keyboard - and My Cat Isis was born.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews