My Cat Isis

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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!
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
On facing pages a youngster discusses the parallels between the goddess Isis worshipped by the ancient Egyptians and his pet cat, also called Isis. Many facts about the Egyptian Isis are here revealed, to be matched by the similarities or differences of the modern cat. For example, Isis wore a horned headdress, while the cat wears a harness and leash. Both stand guard, but protect different things. Both are wise in their own ways. Isis had a baby; the cat is spayed. Isis the goddess was worshipped, but "I love my cat Isis because she is my cat." Egger visualizes this intriguing narrative with compelling images: contemporary interpretations of ancient Egyptian wall paintings along with somewhat abstract illustrations of the cat. The jacket/cover depicts a typical Egyptian fragment across the spine alongside an eerie portrait of the cat Isis with humanoid features. Paper collage, acrylic paint, and colored ink are combined for a sometimes-spooky combination of ancient history and current feline behavior. Cat lovers in particular should enjoy the humorous descriptions of the cat's life. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Isis was one of 1500 gods and goddesses worshipped by ancient Egyptians. In this book, she is also the one and only cat of the child narrator. He shares a number of factoids about the Egyptian goddess, followed by observations about his pet on alternate pages. For example, the goddess wore a horned headdress to show that cattle were important in Egyptian life; Isis the cat wears a harness and leash on walks because squirrels are important in nature (one gets the impression from the cat's intent gaze that she would gladly reduce the squirrel population if let loose). "Isis was the daughter of Earth and Sky. I got my Isis when our neighbor's cat had kittens." The format of parallel narratives is fairly abstract, and children would benefit from an upfront explanation of the premise. The pages about the goddess are illustrated in the style of ancient Egyptian art, while those about the cat are done in collage. Many of the collage pieces are photographs of cats' body parts, pieced together with textured paper to create whole animals. The end result can be disconcerting, like an Igor made from mismatched body parts. The book works as an introduction to characters in Egyptian mythology, but it is not an essential purchase.—Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews

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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554534135
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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.
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