Sea-Cat and Dragon King

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Overview

This is a magical story of the love between mother and child and the gifts of kindness and understanding. Dragon King and Sea-Cat both live under the sea. Sea-Cat lives with his mother who sews him fabulous jewel-encrusted suits that shimmer and capture the attention of all who see him. Dragon King, the ruler, lives a sad and lonely life as he is so ashamed of his ugliness. When he sees Sea-Cat in his beautiful suit, he is overcome with jealousy and wants the suit for himself. But Sea-Cat is clever and kind and ...

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Tatcheva, Eva 2002 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 93 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Overview

This is a magical story of the love between mother and child and the gifts of kindness and understanding. Dragon King and Sea-Cat both live under the sea. Sea-Cat lives with his mother who sews him fabulous jewel-encrusted suits that shimmer and capture the attention of all who see him. Dragon King, the ruler, lives a sad and lonely life as he is so ashamed of his ugliness. When he sees Sea-Cat in his beautiful suit, he is overcome with jealousy and wants the suit for himself. But Sea-Cat is clever and kind and befriends Dragon King. Sea-Cat knows his mother can turn the Dragon King's ruby tears into a most dazzling suit, just for him!

The underwater cat known as Sea-Cat experiences a conflict with Dragon King when they quarrel over who will own the beautiful catsuit made by Sea-Cat's mother.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-In fanciful and imaginative detail, Carter explains how life under the sea is exactly the same as on land-only different. Because his fur might get soggy and matted, Sea-Cat wears a suit lovingly knitted from the seaweed and jewels that he and his mother have found under the water. When the supremely ugly Dragon King sees the beautifully adorned feline, he kidnaps him to get the garment, but of course it doesn't fit him. Sea-Cat's mother then knits the dragon a suit "truly fit for a Dragon King," replete with the ruby tears he has self-pityingly produced, and now he, too, walks the sea bottom in splendor. While the story is slight, and the triumph of accepting oneself because of beautiful clothes is suspect, it is the friendship the three characters forge that serves the book well. With its big words and turns of phrase (Dragon King in his new suit is "a complete festival in himself alone"), Carter's language will delight children. Tatcheva's squiggly line depiction perfectly suits the author's style, and cat lovers as well as animal-fantasy fans will find much to like in this beginning chapter book.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"It is a little-known fact that cats live at the bottom of the sea. Everything at the bottom of the sea is just the same as it is on land-except, of course, that it is quite different." So begins a posthumous bit of fluff from adult writer Carter, about an ugly sea-dragon who kidnaps a young sea-cat, then gets a new self-image to go with a new outfit made from seaweed and rubies. There's not much there there to begin with, and the publishers haven't done the brief tale any favors, illustrating passages like, "When the suit was finished, it glowed like flowers in sunshine. It glowed like port wine in the glass. It glowed like the rose window in a cathedral" with crudely drawn, black-and-white sketches. This small fable is definitely a change of pace from Carter's psychosexual novels and retold folktales, but it's more about style than substance. (Fiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582347684
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 8/3/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST US
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela Carter died in 1992, but her novels, short story collections, and essays live on, attracting new generations of readers to her often dark, always quirky worldview. Perhaps best known for her adult fiction (Wise Children, Nights at the Circus, Burning Your Boats, Saints and Strangers, among other titles), Carter was also a gifted and prolific essayist. She wrote screenplays, translated the fairy tales of Charles Perrault, and edited collections of folk tales but this is her only book for children.

Eva Tatcheva studied illustration at the Royal College of Art in London. She is the illustrator of Witch Zelda's Birthday Cake: A Wild and Wicked Pop-Up, Pull-The-Tab Book. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2002

    THE CAT'S MEOW

    'It is a little-known fact that cats live at the bottom of the sea.' Thus begins an offbeat, nonsensical fable that elicits double takes and sly grins from older picture book readers and adults alike. In her first original book for children, the late author Angela Carter has woven an underwater tale about Sea-Cat who mopes about the wet until his mother knits him a wondrous cloak of seaweed and sea treasures. When the wise-and- wonderful, but monstrously ugly, Dragon King hears of the coat, he decides it's just what he needs to boost his own self-esteem. The plotting scheme that follows avoids the otherwise-predictable cliches of greed and vengence by presenting a friendly and positive problem-solving conclusion.

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