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Cat up a Tree Hardcover – September 1, 1998

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"The Griffin's Riddle"
The latest in The Imaginary Veterinary series includes bonus writing, art, and science activities that will help readers discover more about its featured mythological creatures. Activities are designed for the home and the classroom. Learn more about the author, Suzanne Selfors

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1st edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525459944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525459941
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.8 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,160,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A series of Romantic odes and witty soliloquies inspired by a climbing cat comprises this sumptuous work by Isaacs (Swamp Angel) and British first-time illustrator Mackey. Lush, full-bleed art depicts a rural community as spring blossoms, while each spread offers a poem in a different voice, each addressing one aspect of a cat's adventure up a tree. A girl gives chase, her father runs after her; the fireman is called for, followed by the "cat-catcher"; the robin cries out in fear and warning, and the tree groans in complaint. Isaacs's language can be ornate (e.g., one poem, "Night Rising," begins, "Ancient alchemist, wake! Arise:/ Flood each echoing well with beams"). Elsewhere, she can be straightforward and funny (the fireman confesses, "I'd rather face flames raging out of control/ Than a cat, who's a fire with four legs and a soul"). Mackey unifies the various poems with gorgeous, dreamlike paintings. Various elements such as people walking dogs or passersby appear on the pages with a fresh, spontaneous wit, while the cat is as lyrical visually as he appears in the text. Cat lovers will go wild for this work, as will poets and dreamers. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-Delightful poems that center around a cat that has stranded itself up a tree. Readers hear from the girl who spots him, the firefighter who cannot catch him, the robin who lured him, the tree that abhors him, a passing balloonist who admires him, and others attracted to the scene. The cat itself contributes several poems: contemplating former lives, admiring the night, and such. Isaacs's poems demonstrate a wide range of form and mood, as the individual pieces come together to tell a story. They are wonderfully matched by Mackey's richly colored paintings, presented on striking double-page spreads, which reveal the characters' emotions as they depict an appreciation of landscape and light. A charmer.
Miriam Lang Budin, Mt. Kisco Public Library,
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Serena on April 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I collect childrens' books and illustrations, and Stephen Mackey is one of my all-time favorite illustrators. The same sense of mystery and magic that is so at home in his illustrations of fairies adds a particularly special element to his paintings of children and cats. You feel like you're seeing into someone's secret world, even if the events portrayed are mundane, yet you never feel as though you've discovered all of the secrets. As an afficianado of Mackey, I have to say I've been disaapointed in the two major works he's chosen to illustrate -- this book, and the Yolen collection of fairy tales. I think in both cases that the text is not particularly engaging -- too stilted, artificial, and even esoteric for children, but not nuanced or sophisticated enough to be entirely satisfying to adults. Don't buy this book if you want to read a story about cats to a young person; but if you love cats, and if you believe that they know a lot more than we can prove that they know and that they make excellent companions for us, the meager fleshed ones, then I think you might really enjoy sharing the pictures in this book with your child or your over a cup of tea with your feline friend.
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