The Cat's Pajamas

The Cat's Pajamas

by Wallace Edwards
     
 

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From the acclaimed Wallace Edwards comes his second collection of idioms, a companion to the award-winning Monkey Business.

The Cat's Pajamas depicts 26 idioms, bringing new meaning to familiar sayings and tickling your funny bone with a surreal illustration on each page. To ensure you get the hang of it, each expression is used in a sentence and

Overview

From the acclaimed Wallace Edwards comes his second collection of idioms, a companion to the award-winning Monkey Business.

The Cat's Pajamas depicts 26 idioms, bringing new meaning to familiar sayings and tickling your funny bone with a surreal illustration on each page. To ensure you get the hang of it, each expression is used in a sentence and explained at the back of the book. And if you look closely you'll discover a cat hidden in every painting; some cats are a piece of cake to find, others may require you to use your noodle.

A gorgeously illustrated eye-spy book and a unique introduction to idioms, this book is truly the cat's meow.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like Edwards's previous collection of idioms, Monkey Business (2004), this grouping illustrates figures of speech with outlandish sentences that use and (usually) define them, as well as richly worked paintings. In one, a mouse in a party hat walks along a pipe carrying a piece of birthday cake: "Blanche discovered that finding her way home from the party was a piece of cake." The panels, done in watercolor, colored pencil, and gouache, feature an inexhaustible store of surreal fantasies; there's a frog driving a submersible, a crab tying a giraffe's bowtie, and a panda playing a violin with spaghetti ("In order to have dinner music, Andy was forced to use his noodle"). Cats are tucked into each scene, providing even more reason to explore the images in detail. The explanations for each phrase, provided at the end, will be necessary in some cases--a portrait of Inspector Reinhold, a rhino with a fish perched on his horn, doesn't suggest the suspiciousness that comes with smelling "something fishy," and a snail's pace, as it hurtles down a hill, comes across as quite rapid. All ages. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
On each page Edwards offers a statement that includes a common idiom, along with an illustration of an animal character he has chosen as an example. Each of the twenty-six idioms, "...an expression peculiar to a specific language that cannot be translated literally," is explained at the end, so that readers can check what they really mean and see whether they have understood the illustration. The scenes are inventive and frequently amusing. Although the animals are rendered naturalistically, the overall impression in the watercolor, colored pencil, and gouache paintings is more surreal than photographic. Some are comic, like the panda bowing his violin with pasta—"using his noodle." Or the pelican who literally has "a frog in his throat." Or the elephant, who clearly is large enough to have "a lot to draw on" or the cow serenely riding a surfboard, "going with the flow." In the end, we are challenged to find a cat hidden on each page. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Edwards begins this picture book with a definition of "idiom," and English teachers will thrill to find a book that deals with this elusive idea. The expectation will be that the pictures will get to the true meaning of the expressions, but readers will be surprised. In fact, Edwards's illustrations show the literal meaning, which is effective in its own way. When he depicts a pelican swallowing a frog to illustrate "having a frog in one's throat," it's clear that the meaning could not be literal. It is patently ridiculous. A list of the real meanings is provided at the end of the book. The illustrations are handsome and detailed, which adds to the ridiculous nature of the literal interpretations. This is a useful book to introduce this figure of speech to older kids; it will make them laugh as they tease out what each entry actually means.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews

Who hasn't used a phrase like "cool your heels" or "it's a piece of cake"? This book cleverly interprets 26 idioms with meticulous paintings (akin in detail to Graeme Base's). "As judge of the Tiny Tot Talent Contest, Leon had to face the music," is depicted with an image of a chipmunk tooting a horn at point-blank range in a lion's face, blowing his mane violently back. For "using your noodle," a panda plays a violin with a strand of spaghetti instead of a bow. In a moment of pure genius, Hammy the pig whoops with delight in the front seat of the Happy Hurler roller coaster, clearly having much more fun than the barrel of monkeys in the seat behind. All of the images use animals and birds to illustrate the phrases, and a page of definitions appears in the back. Each scene has multiple references, double entendres and a hidden cat (but no legend). Language and art teachers should have a field day with this. Though some expressions are more successful than others, it is indeed the cat's pajamas. (Picture book. 5 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554533084
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
08/01/2010
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
867,156
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 12.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Wallace Edwards is a commissioned artist, as well as a freelance illustrator for books and magazines. He lives in Yarker, Ontario, near Kingston.

Wallace Edwards is a commissioned artist, as well as a freelance illustrator for books and magazines. He lives in Yarker, Ontario, near Kingston.

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