Jennifer has a great love in her life, which is music. She dreams of becoming a concert pianist, a great concert pianist. Then she meets someone who distracts her from this dream for a short while. On her way home from a piano lesson, Jennifer finds a stray cat. With much coaxing Jennifer gets the cat, whom she calls Amadeus, to follow her home. With much reluctance Amadeus becomes Jennifer's pet. He just isn't the cuddly affectionate type, which is rather a disappointment for Jennifer, who longs to have a pet in the real sense of the word. Eventually Jennifer gives up and gets down to practicing for a contest in which she is playing. When she is playing at the piano, Amadeus starts to warm to her and Jennifer discovers how to communicate with her grumpy and standoffish cat. Beautifully told and well paced, this is a story that reminds us that there are more ways than one to connect with others, and that the bond between a child and an animal can grow to become something very special and very powerful. The simple and unaffected illustrations lend intensity to the story and give it an added quality of truth and beauty. 2001, Holiday House, Ages 7 to 9.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-While riding home from her music lesson and daydreaming of becoming a concert pianist, Jennifer meets a gray-and-white cat. Inspired, she names him Amadeus and coaxes him home. With an eyebrow raised, her father accepts her story and the stray. In the week that follows, Jennifer forgets her dreams of musical fame and glory and pours all her energy into winning the feline's favor, but he rejects all of her offers of affection and play. Finally, she puts the cat on hold and begins to practice for an upcoming concert. Amadeus, being true to his name, is drawn to the music and becomes her bench companion. Predictably, Jennifer wins first place in her piano competition with thoughts of Amadeus by her side to encourage and inspire her. Although the idea of cat as muse is appealing, the story does not flow well. The oil paintings, while lovely, are somewhat static and contribute to the somber tone.-Be Astengo, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Nine-year-old Jennifer finds a stray cat on the way back from her piano lesson. She carries the cat home without looking for his owner, adopts the cat without asking permission, and stops practicing the piano to concentrate on winning over her new pet, now called Amadeus. The cat remains skittish and unapproachable until Jennifer practices her Mozart sonata ("for hours day after day") for an upcoming contest, which wins her the cat's attention and affection, and of course, a first-place ribbon. Sorenson's (Hurricane!, 1998, etc.) dark, moody, full-bleed paintings capture the cat's aloof nature and Jennifer's serious and rather lonely life with her single father, and perhaps reflect the darker side of Mozart's music and life as well. A perplexing illustration of Jennifer waiting backstage at the contest shows her in a scanty, slip-style red dress, nervously holding her father's hand, with a huge empty bed inexplicably taking up the left-hand page. Mozart's actual life is much more interesting than this story, and there are several biographies for this age group to help introduce his extraordinary life and music to young listeners. (author's note, suggested reading) (Picture book. 4-8)