Nothing but Miracles

Overview

To these cats, the city is a miracle. The woods are too. And the meadows. They love camping; they love eating fish; they love catching butterflies. And especially they love being together.

Perfectly in tune with Walt Whitman's poem in praise of everyday life, and endearing cat family celebrates the miracle of their love - for the world around them and for one another.

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Overview

To these cats, the city is a miracle. The woods are too. And the meadows. They love camping; they love eating fish; they love catching butterflies. And especially they love being together.

Perfectly in tune with Walt Whitman's poem in praise of everyday life, and endearing cat family celebrates the miracle of their love - for the world around them and for one another.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Excerpting the bulk of a poem included in a late edition of Leaves of Grass, Roth (Happy Birthday Mr. Kang) describes a parallel between her own medium and Whitman's verse; she writes in an endnote that the poem "draws together diverse wonders of the world into a cohesive whole. For me this is the essence of collage." While Roth's argument is compelling and her work distinguished, the verbal and visual "collages" unfortunately do not add up to a cohesive picture book. Parted from the synthesis of the original poem, the version excerpted here is also parted from many of its meanings, and reads only serviceably, as a list of "miracles" experienced whether the narrator "wade[s] with naked feet/ along the beach/ just in the edge of the water,/ Or stand[s] under trees in the woods, " etc. The illustrations, however, are frequently dazzling, relying on Roth's expert blending and layering of thin, textured paper for highly nuanced, evocative land- and skyscapes. A particularly striking sunset image, for instance, incorporates a complex design and well-honed sense of color. The artist introduces a cat family (one child, two adults), who explore the world together, to unify the disparate scenes and to create something of a story line. While precise and detailed cuts suggest fur on the animals, their flat, almost cartoonlike appearance within otherwise subtly patterned compositions give the cats the appearance of floating against the backgrounds rather than inhabiting them. An ambitious experiment, if not wholly a success. Ages 3-6. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is an excerpt from Whitman's poem, "Miracles," first published under the title "Poem of Perfect Miracles" in 1856. In this version, a cat family takes pleasure in the ordinary things in their lives and in their love for each other. This colorful collage of cats walks through Manhattan, looks at the sky, wades in the water, stands under trees, and revels in the activities of everyday life. This work illustrates Whitman's belief that humanity (illustrated here by cats) should be united in friendship. The book also demonstrates his idea that happiness is to be found in nature and in daily life. In visiting this book, young children can join in the celebration of life, and the book can have the same effect on those who are reading it with them. This could be useful for teachers who wish to introduce the work of Whitman or the concept of free verse to older students. 2003, National Geographic,
— Pat Williams
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-In celebration of all of life's daily joys, this picture book uses a carefree cat family to illustrate a large segment of Walt Whitman's poem "Miracles" from Leaves of Grass. Roth emphasizes the pieced-together, free-verse structure of the poem through her bright, naive collage illustrations. This uplifting presentation can bring Whitman's poem to life for young audiences. The book concludes with the poem "Miracles" (1886 revision) in its entirety as well as notes about the poem's history and the artwork.-Julie Roach, Malden Public Library, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792261438
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 9/2/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.32 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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