Every kid sometimes wants to be someone else. And so, it turns out, do some cats. Kids will relate to how hard it is for each cat to try to be like the other. They'll also love the true-to-life way that, after the fur stops flying, an unexpected change occurs, making both cats happy to be just exactly who they are.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Feline foes and rivalries masking secret jealousies are not new subjects. Nonetheless, the warring yet endearing cats in Jenni Desmond’s “Red Cat Blue Cat” are welcome company. Their travails aren’t so different from our human ones. Red Cat, you see, “wished he were as smart as Blue Cat, and . . . Blue Cat wanted to be fast and bouncy like Red Cat.” And so, just like people, “they fought and they hissed and they wished, all day long.”
When Blue Cat decides to be more like Red Cat, he eats a crab, some cherries and rose petals, among other items. “Guess who was spying on him the whole time?” Desmond slyly asks. Red Cat, in turn, is inspired to try “blueberries, bluebells, a blue fish, blue pudding and certain cupcakes.” Thus begins an escalating conflict between the two cats as each tries to imitate, match and outdo the other.
Desmond’s captivating drawings combine intricate pen-and-ink and charcoal lines and childlike splotches of color to depict the best and worst in what will be highly recognizable cat behavior. The story, with its nod to “Little Blue and Little Yellow” and other tales of friendship and differences, hits all the familiar beats. But it does so with a generous dose of humor, adept storytelling and spot-on detail.
Jenni Desmond makes a strong children's book debut with this gently humorous and insightful tale told with wit, empathy, and artistic panache. A graduate of the Cambridge School of Art, she lives in London, England.
Jacketed picture book. Ages 4 and up.
USA 16.99 | Canada 19.99