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Mimi's Dada Catifesto Hardcover – April 12, 2010

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Mimi's Dada Catifesto + To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 510L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (April 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547126816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547126814
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–4—Mimi, an artistic alley cat living in early-20th-century Zurich, hopes to be taken in by an artistic human. When she sees an absurd performance by "Mr. Dada," she knows she has found her match. However, Mimi must try many Dadaist approaches (sound poems, ready-made art displays, and randomly generated poetry) before the man recognizes her as a kindred spirit. Told in Mimi's voice, this playful story declares that "art can be anything." A dapper cockroach couple provide commentary and explanations, and Mimi's pigeon friend offers wry humor. The cat's quest for Mr. Dada's affection provides the story arc and structure, an important counterpoint to the nonsensical experimentation in the text and the art. Brightly colored mixed-media collage illustrations set the scene. Period news and catalog clippings juxtaposed with zany layouts that scramble art give a feel for how Dada takes the mundane and turns it on its head. Readers are invited to participate: "Mimi says, Now perform a sound poem./Yes, you./Did I hear a burp?/Thank you-that was a good poem." A detailed endnote and suggested reading/listening list encourage future exploration of the Dadaist movement. Like Dadaism itself, this book will probably inspire a wide range of responses from readers, from confusion to disdain to delight. Perfect for art-museum gift shops and art education, and an interesting addition for large general collections.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Children (and many adults) won't know much about the artistic movement Dada, but that's all right, because all (well, perhaps not all) becomes clear through Jackson's zingy text and wildly inventive art. Mimi the cat says another name for this book might be, “How I became a genius and got a bowl of milk too.” Mimi, you see, is an artistic cat, and an uncompromising one at that. When her pigeon pal, Laszlo, tells her she should find a human to care for her, Mimi sneers, “Humans? Noisy things who can't even lick their own toes?” Mimi wants to find someone who will inspire her, and that she does in Mr. Dada, an artist who says art can and should be any manner of things, as when he lets an ice cube melt in his hand. Even being yelled at means, “I have gotten on someone's nerves, and that's just what an artist should do.” It takes effort on Mimi's part, but when she shows her absurdist side to Mr. Dada, a beautiful friendship begins. Yet the story hardly tells the story. With pictures inspired by many artists, including Marcel Duchamp, it's the art that will get kids to sit up and take notice. A mix of collage, fantastical and realistic drawings, and offbeat design work, the illustrations are played off a variety of fonts and typefaces, designed to keep the reader off balance. Art can be anything, but here it is style, invention, and lots of fun. Grades 1-4. --Ilene Cooper

More About the Author

Shelley Jackson has written and illustrated several books for children, including The Old Woman and the Wave (DK Children, 1998) and Sophia, the Alchemist's Dog (Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2002). Her most recent book, The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice Harrington (FSG, 2007), received several awards and starred reviews. Shelley's books for adults include The Melancholy of Anatomy (Anchor Books, 2002) and Half Life (HarperCollins, 2006). She is well known for her pioneering cross-genre experiments such as her groundbreaking hypertext novel, Patchwork Girl, and her ongoing Skin Project, a novella published exclusively in the form of tattoos on the skin of volunteers, one word at a time. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. To learn more, please visit her website: http://ineradicablestain.com/

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Shelley Jackson's MIMI'S DADA CATIFESTO tells of an artistic cat who is owned by Mr. Dada, who is not like the other humans who treat the cat mean. Mr. Dada is a Dadaist who believes art can be anything - but does he want a cat in his life? Picturebook readers with good reading skills will relish this story.
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By Gumby L on May 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This author (and the artist) are creative geniuses, it's fun, creative, original and a book that makes kids ask interesting questions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is not just for kids, but for everyone who likes a good funny story. It also explains what Dada is and how we can all be Dada, just like Mimi! The art is really awesome, and there is something new on each page. I liked all of the characters: Mimi the cat, the cockroaches, and Laszlo the pigeon... and finally the human who performs Dada. There are even fun activities that you can do while reading the book, which makes it interactive! I have already read (and reread) this book three times.
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By SeaShell on January 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It strikes me that this book is less of a picture book for children, and more of a picture book for adults. It is for anyone who has ever said, "I wish I had paid more attention during that Art History class in college - maybe I should dig out my old textbook," or "What the heck was up with that guy who hung a shovel on the wall of an art gallery?"

If you're reading it to a child, you'll certainly get more out of it than they will. That said, while I'm pretty sure my 4 year old could not tell you what Dadaism is after reading this book, the interactive part of the book was much appreciated. He had a blast making his own sound poem, cutting up a newspaper to make his own randomly generated poem (the resulting poem confused him greatly, but he loved the process), and 'making' his own ready-made art (a nail clipper).

A lot of the text is way, way above the comprehension level of your average pre-schooler or even 1st or 2nd grader, but they will have fun with it none-the-less, and mom or dad or teacher may just learn or remember something long forgotten about Dadaism along the way.
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