Windows with Birds

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
A cat first describes the house where he is happy, with birds to watch through the windows and a young boy who cares for and plays with him. But one day we can see a moving van arrive. The cat finds himself brought to a strange new place. He retreats to the laundry basket then hides in the closet, protesting with a wail that he wants to go back to the old house. But finally at night he curls up near the boy. In the morning he spots birds in these windows, "five perfect hiding places, a promising new fish," and the boy he can still wait for in a sunny spot, and all is well. As the brief text reveals the emotions of the cat, Ritz's naturalistic watercolor scenes vividly visualize the actions related to the feline feelings. Readers who live with cats will particularly value the portrayal of pleasure, confusion, fear, and final return to domestic comfort. Others bereft of such companionship may be motivated to find it. Readers who must adjust to a move may find comfort in the story as well. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—This delicate and understated book tells a simple story about a striped cat with green eyes that loves a boy and a house. All of the feline's comforts are in that house, but one day the boy takes it to live in an apartment. The cat sulks and hides, while the boy tries to coax it out. Unsuccessful, he goes to bed, with his mother close by. When the boy stops tossing in his sleep, his pet joins him. By morning, the cat realizes that the things it loves best—hiding places, windows with birds, and the boyZ—are in the new environment as well. As in Karen Rostoker-Gruber's Bandit (Marshall Cavendish, 2008), the cat's experiences mirror how moving disrupts children's lives, and Ritz has left hints that it is upsetting for the child as well. At the close of the story, the feline is again waiting, as it did in the past, in a sunny spot for the boy to come home. The realistic, close-up watercolors convey many emotions, including energy and serenity as the cat wails to be taken back to the house, leaps in the air to chase birds, and snoozes. This is a beautiful book for cat lovers and for those who are uncomfortable with change.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Cat lives in a house "that [has] windows with birds, / twenty-six stairs, / twenty- hiding places, and / one foolish mouse in the basement." Cat loves the boy who shares the house and often waits in a sunbeam for him. One day the boy zips Cat into his coat and takes him away to a new place. All Cat does is hide. No amount of calling or water or treats or toys gets him to leave his good hiding places. At night he yowls to be taken home. Then, after a snuggle with boy in bed, Cat wakes up to see-windows with birds. He finds "five perfect hiding places, / [and] a promising new fish" and waits for the boy in a sunbeam. Prolific author/illustrator Ritz has captured the cat mind and in beautiful, realistic watercolors created spot-on bibliotherapy for worried young cat lovers who have recently moved (or who are unhappy themselves with a recent move). Touching, unique and wise, a perfectly pitched tale of acceptance of the inevitable changes of life. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590786567
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,355,933
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Ritz has illustrated more than forty books. She has a degree in Children's Literature from the University of Minnesota, and much of her original work is housed there in The Children's Literature Research Collection. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota

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