The Cinder-Eyed Cats

The Cinder-Eyed Cats

3.6 3
by Eric Rohmann

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A boy in a magical sailboat finds himself on a tropical island, where he encounters six cats with blazing eyes. See more details below

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A boy in a magical sailboat finds himself on a tropical island, where he encounters six cats with blazing eyes.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The enchanted land and dream-like eyes of Rohmann's (Time Flies) cinder-eyed cats are likely to hypnotize readers as effectively as they have the boy in these pages. The title page begins the wordless start to a boy's adventure. He climbs a rope ladder into a Wynken-Blynken-and-Nod-style sailboat that flies through the sky and drops anchor near a sandy beach. From a foreground of jungle ferns entwined with mysterious, curling cats' tails, the reader sees the boy in the distance build an enormous sand fish and fall asleep. Then the lyrical, rhythmic text begins: "In faraway lands,/ When twilight falls on fair and wind-swept days,/ Cats like velvet shadows move,/ Their coal-fire eyes ablaze." The boy, the cats, the sand fish (now come to life) and assorted denizens of the sea "make their getaway" to the night sky to dance in the moonlight until "the waking light of dawn." Then "suddenly they're gone." The illustrations take on the quality of animated film as silver fish "flash like cats' eyes in the light," and the boy and his cats reach for the "sea-blue sky." Rohmann's (Time Flies) bright-eyed cats and cryptic story are as mesmerizing as a vivid dream that seems at once perfectly clear and vaguely puzzling. Even readers who prefer loose ends to be tied up neatly will respond to these enigmatic golden cats who sleep tumbled together as the boy sails home in his sky-flying boat "until... the moon comes round once more." Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
A different format adds to the magic and strangeness of a young boy's journey to a special place where twilight causes the appearance of cats with coal-fired eyes, and all the creatures of the sea to be released in a fantasmagorical dance of freedom. As daylight appears, they disappear, and the young boy sails back to reality. Bold illustrations add even more dimension to this unusual tale.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2--Five tigers with staring eyes fill the book jacket, front and back, suggesting a larger-than-life story. It's a nighttime fantasy featuring a boy who climbs aboard a boat hanging in the air above a pier and sails off to faraway lands. After a wordless sequence of several pages, the text begins in blank verse and moves into rhymed couplets to recount in spare lines the child's encounter with the cinder-eyed cats and a host of fish and sea creatures that "rise up from the deep" and join a frenzied night of dancing in the air above the sand. Double-page paintings of the tropical island terrain deepen as the sunny afternoon sky and sea move through twilight and into the dark of night. The scheme of sailing off into the night and a dreamlike encounter with wild animals are certainly nothing new, but the energy and surrealism provide a well-paced adventure with intriguing moments. The boy builds a large sand fish on the beach; as he dozes against its side, its eye begins to open. The celebration of night is a cheerful melee containing visual images--a circle of dancing tigers and the tigers mounted on one another's backs--familiar from well-known stories. As the morning sun calls the fish back to the sea, it's all a bit of a well-woven pastiche, sometimes Disneyish in the drawing but often bold and rich. A bedtime piece with flair.--Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
From the Publisher
"A beautiful book that readers will turn to again and again." — Booklist, Starred

"Rohmann’s bright-eyed cats are as mesmerizing as a vivid dream." — Publishers Weekly

"Rohmann’s magnificent oil paintings masterfully mix reality and fantasy." — Los Angeles Times

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
9.96(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.13(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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