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review 2017-05-17 09:40
Of Cats and Men
Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History's Great Cat-Loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen - Sam Kalda

The illustrations save this book.  It's a really attractive books and the illustrations and drawings are colourful and joyful.

 

The writing is... so-so.  First, it's solidly aimed at men: Kalda doesn't even pretend that women might read this, and he often breaks the fourth wall to talk to the reader man-to-man about the hidden manliness of preferring cats over dogs.  Kalda is an illustrator by profession, and perhaps that accounts for writing that attempts to be chatty and witty but fails just short so that there are moments that feel awkward.

 

The profiles don't really share anything new or even biographically informative, but they are somewhat interesting.  Nonetheless, as I said, the illustrations and quote typography are the thing here.  The book shines from this perspective, which is why my rating ends up at 4 stars.

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text 2017-05-12 04:56
It's Autumn on the South-side...

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review 2017-05-09 16:32
William & the Missing Masterpiece - Helen Hancocks
William & the Missing Masterpiece - Helen Hancocks,Helen Hancocks

William bears a startling resemblance to our own reading buddy, Calder Alexander Eno, who is a very big cat. He'd be even taller than William , I think, were he to start walking about on his hind legs. William is trying to solve a mystery about an art heist during the Cheese festival. Calder is mysterious and is named after an artist. All of the humans and some of the cats in our house are crazy about cheese.

There was no way we weren't going to love this book.

Library copy

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review 2017-05-09 07:24
Cats, Cats, Cats
Cats, Cats, Cats - Andy Warhol

Call me a philistine, but I never quite understood the whole thing about Warhol's soup labels or Monroe's portrait.  They're cool, but not my idea of art in terms of Art of the Ages.

 

But boy, do I love his cats!  This short, 10 minute read is full of Warhol's gorgeous, whimsical drawings of cats and this is the art I can get behind.  If I were amongst the money-to-burn crowd, I'd bypass Warhol's Mao and opt for his Meow.  (Sorry, had to be done.)

 

Each exquisite feline is coupled with a quote of Warhol's, and while they're not bad, the cats are better.

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review 2017-04-29 04:55
A New Literary Classic
The Story of Diva and Flea - Mo Willems,Tony DiTerlizzi

Two unlikely friends embark on a life altering journey in The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi.  Diva is a small dog who lives in an apartment complex at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France.  She takes her job of guarding the courtyard very seriously.

Flea is a streetwise cat who loves exploring the city of lights.  One day, his travels take him past 11 avenue Le Play...and Diva.  He finds the petite pooch to be quite interesting.  Flea cannot understand why Diva runs away every time that someone enters the courtyard.  A miscommunication soon turns into a budding friendship.

Diva loves listening to Flea's stories about the wondrous sights of Paris.  She admires his bravery and courage and decides to become an explorer too.  Does this curious canine have what it takes to make it on the streets of Paris?  Can Flea conquer his fear of brooms and the humans that come with them?  Most importantly, will Diva and Flea's friendship survive despite their vastly different backgrounds?

I absolutely love this book!  The story reminds me of a mixture of Disney's Oliver and Company with a dash of Madeline.  While I have not been to Paris, I can definitely relate to the bond that Diva and Flea share.  My husband and I rescued a two week old kitten from the middle of main street in our town and our three-legged dog, Penny, immediately bonded with the kitten and began raising her.  

This story has so many fantastic themes woven intricately within the chapters.  I also love how the story is told from both Diva and Flea's perspective.  It is truly magical to see how their individual lives come together to create a relationship that each hadn't thought possible.

Tony DiTerlizzi's illustrations are enchanting.  Readers of all ages will fall in love with the adorable Diva and Flea.  I am also blown away by the detail that DiTerlizzi puts into each image.  His buildings are simply incredible!  I almost felt as if I was in Paris, smelling the scent of coffee and freshly baked bread.

I would highly recommend this book to readers ages 8 to 108!  This classic story of friendship, courage and discovery will surely be treasured for years to come.  I think it would also make for a fantastic movie or television series.

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