Jules: Is it really true that British cats drink tea? Well, this globe-trotting cat, brought to life by illustrator Kyrsten Brooker, knows. He’s the star of Caroline Lazo’s Someday When My Cat Can Talk (Scwartz & Wade Books, April 2008), the story of one little girl’s fantasy about her cat. Someday when he can talk, he’ll tell her lots of things, including the story of how he “hopped a ship and where he stowed away” in order to launch his European adventure, including a trip to England, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Greece, and Holland. I love Kyrsten’s collage style (don’t forget to throw in some oil paints) and always enjoy her books (I reviewed Jacqueline Davies’ The Night is Singing back here in ’06). Kyrsten even opens the book with a map and itinerary of the cat’s adventures on the endpapers. These are illustrations which reward if you take the time to pore over them with your favorite wee one (and the book, I’m here to say, can also launch you into your closets for a search of your own globes and can lead to some informative geography discussions with children before you know what’s hit you).
Here’s the girl and her fearless feline: “My cat,” the girls says, “will tell me all these things when he talks to me someday. Until then, when the sun goes down, he always sneaks away.” Many thanks to Random House for use of the images. I wanted to chat with Kyrsten to see if she wanted to add any thoughts on her art-making, but alas and alack she’s travelling. Maybe another time.
As a reminder, our 7-Kicks list is the meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week — whether book-related or not — that happened to you. Anyone is welcome to come list their kicks, so have at it.
1* I love the cat’s spats in the first illustration up there. So dapper!
2* And this is maybe a spoiler for Jules’s kicks, but that last photo of Ada with the troll bridge Cracks. Me. Up.
3* Someone carved a gigantic peace symbol into a slope on Cornell’s campus. Kind of like those big geoglyphs in Peru, but different.
4* Last Sunday, I went to a yummy new (to me) restaurant with some friends: Dinosaur BBQ. As a vegetarian, I was mainly in it for the fried green tomatoes. I was not disappointed, and they even had a few veggie options. I only wish I’d had room for dessert.
5* Both of my current temp jobs have been extended.
6* This weekend is the annual Ithaca Festival, and it’s my first time to experience it. The festivities kicked off Thursday with a parade that was frankly… hilarious. It was explained to me beforehand that the whole idea behind the festival, and the parade in particular, is Ithaca residents reclaiming their town after the college students go home for the summer. I’d also been told it was kind of wacky. But I was still delightedly surprised at parade participants like the He-Man Chainsaw Marching Band (exactly what it sounds like – guys revving chainsaws in an attempt at synchronization), the Volvo Ballet (station wagons in giant tutus, swerving back and forth along the street), and the SufferJets (I didn’t even know Ithaca has a roller derby team – obviously, I will be attending their next meet). There were more conventional parade elements too, like actual marching bands and floats, plus stilt-walkers, fire-jugglers, unicycle-riders and belly dancers… There’s a photo collection here, if you want a peek.
7* I fought it as long as I could, but I finally broke down and bought New Moon. I really need to work on updating my resume, there’s a job I meant to apply for that needs a writing sample, I’ve left Jules hanging on several co-reviews… not to mention I really need to do something about this laundry pile and my kitchen floor… but I keep looking over at the bookmark stuck in the middle of the book, where I was able to reluctantly tear myself away long enough to type up these kicks… *Sigh* There goes another weekend.
I’ll try to be brief about my kicks, ’cause I have so many pics!
We had a very busy week (and I hardly had time for blog-reading, so I’m feeling terrifically behind today on everyone’s news and book-thoughts).
1). My oldest and I took a parent-child art class. The things we’ll do for art in our household! It was at this beautiful place in Nashville, and we had great fun. But we live approximately thirty miles from it, so the sixty-mile round trip each day in downtown lunch-hour Nashville traffic about wore me out (I even skipped this great event yesterday just so I could have one day of not going anywhere. Man, I hope they do that another year). Anyway, the kickin’ art class is my Number One today, because we really did have fun. Here are some tissue-paper flowers my little artist made:
2). I really love beautiful snail-mail stationery, all waiting for you in your mailbox like a little gift. Alkelda sent me a really lovely card (made by these talented people), and it included the second thoughtful surprise she had lined up for me after she did this: She had Sam and her violinist Eric sign it. AND her daughter drew me a picture from The Twelve Dancing Princesses. How fun!
3). I’m actually reading a book written for adults. It’s been a while.
4). The Boston Globe–Horn Book winners and honor titles. Excellent choices.
6). TadMack and Alkelda!
6½). The latest issue (June ’08) of The Edge of the Forest. Good stuff, as always.
7). Cheekwood (where we took the parent-child art class) has another wonderful fairy tale exhibit. You wander through their gorgeous gardens and stumble upon fairy tale worlds. I took some pics this week. We stumbled upon the big bad wolf (you can slide down the inside of him), scaring some poor pigs; Rapunzel’s tower; Red and another wolf; and the troll.
You can see there in that last picture that the Troll was a bit frightening to a two and a half year old, closing her eyes to shut his scariness out, but we eventually waved our finger in his face and told him he didn’t frighten us, and we crossed his bridge with great courage (and then did it about ten more times).
What are your kicks this week?
Two spreads from SOMEDAY WHEN MY CAT CAN TALK by Caroline Lazo, illustration © 2008 by Kyrsten Brooker, posted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved.