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Temple Cat Hardcover – February 1, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?This endearing tale is sure to find favor wherever cat stories are in demand. Worshipped as a god with servants to coddle him, a temple cat in ancient Egypt yearns for the freedom to live as a normal feline. So he slips away and travels until he reaches a fisherman's hut by the sea, where he discovers the humble pleasures of a "real" supper, a scratch behind the ears, and the joy of playing with children and being loved by them. If readers have regrets over the abandoned believers, there is no consolation offered, only an illustration on the back cover showing the god's empty pillow. The language is direct and spare but still descriptive, and the layout is consistent (full-page oil paintings opposite pages of text), making this a good choice for newly confident readers. The artist portrays the many moods and poses of the cat: limp, content, elegant, and cautious, to name a few, rendering this most expressive of animals successfully.?Susan Middleton, LaJolla Country Day School, CA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 5^-8. Worshiped as a god in ancient Egypt, a cat longs for freedom. One day, he slips away from the hovering temple servants, travels through the countryside to the sea, and finds happiness in the love of a fisherman's family. Those who know an aloof, lordly feline may not agree that he's secretly longing for cuddly domesticity, but the idea of the overprotected creature stifled by attention will appeal to kids safe at home. Kiesler's warm paintings in shades of brown and gleaming gold capture both the splendor of the temple setting and the physicalness of the furry adventurer. Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 31 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (February 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395698421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395698426
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.1 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #839,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Most of my characters are fairly normal people who are dealing with the basics of everyday life--getting along with others, finding a place in the world, discovering talents, overcoming challenges, trying to have some wholesome fun along the way, and getting into some scrapes and a little mischief now and then, too. I guess I hope my readers will be able to see bits and pieces of themselves in the stories, particularly the novels that take place in and around school. School is a rich setting because schools and education are at the heart of every community. The stories that are set in school seem to resonate with kids, teachers, parents, librarians--readers of all ages. Everyone's life has been touched by school experiences. And I also hope, of course, that kids and others will enjoy reading, enjoy the use of language, enjoy my storytelling.

Customer Reviews

This little book is adorable from start to finish.
Baby D
Andrew Clement's picture book, TEMPLE CAT relays an ancient, Egyptian story that is fascinating and mystical.
Yvette Sheron Mingo
Nice illustrations and a pleasant story make "Temple Cat" an enjoyable read.
Marco Antonio Abarca

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dana H. Pasterjak on March 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book, and a great teaching tool. As a teacher, I am always looking for new ways to teach. This book was recommended by Crayola magazine on the subject of Ancient Egypt, so I checked it out at the library. I fell in love with the book because of the illustrations and original story line and will now buy this book. Most if not all of my students enjoy animals and they like that the main character is a cat who is worshipped and lives in her own temple cared for night and day by servants. It really was interesting to learn history through the eyes of an exalted feline. They enjoyed it immensely.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mike..M on January 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
A beautiful and enlightening book. This is a simple little story of a runaway cat, set in ancient Egypt, but its subject is really nothing less than the purpose of life, equally applicable to cat or human. Is it better to be pampered, eternally exalted, but apart, or to live in the world and be free to eat fish heads in the sand? The temple cat finds his answer.

Less, maybe, for those who want their children to seek everlasting happiness in an afterlife, then, but for those who want them to see eternity here and now in the mud huts of everyday existence, this is an excellent bedtime story.

For this Dad, Temple Cat is a favorite book. I mean a favorite for myself. My seven-year-old daughter likes it too: "It's nice that he found a nicer home. The illustrations are really beautiful."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alyse on December 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
It's easy to daydream about living a life of luxury. Temple Cat, a picture book written by Andrew Clements (Houghton Mifflin 1996), gives the reader a glimpse of that life in a whole new way. The story is of a cat in ancient Egypt who is worshipped as a god. The cat not only lives in a temple, it feels completely trapped by its hieroglyphic walls. It cannot eat, jump or play on its own without his faithful servants stepping in to make life for the cat that much easier. But it does not want to be worshipped, it wants to be a cat, and it must venture outside the walls of the temple to learn who it really wants to be.
This is both an informative and thoughtful tale on the position of cats in ancient Egyptian culture, as well as a heartwarming story of discovering life and happiness according to one's own beliefs. Kate Kiesler's wistfully golden illustrations capture the tone of Egypt and the cat's world inside the temple. His servants are never fully shown, their faces always hidden, a clever means to show separation and loss of identity within the temple. It isn't until the cat learns what it truly means to be a cat, not a god, when children show him something much more powerful than worship, they show him love.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marco Antonio Abarca VINE VOICE on December 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although set in Ancient Egypt, the "Temple Cat" is primarily a story of a cat's search for freedom. If you are looking to gain a deeper understanding of Egyptian life, look somewhere else. Nice illustrations and a pleasant story make "Temple Cat" an enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yvette Sheron Mingo on March 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
Andrew Clement's picture book, TEMPLE CAT relays an ancient, Egyptian story that is fascinating and mystical. Readers meet an exotic temple cat that is unhappy and tired of being worshiped and served by temple servants. Clement's story is intriguing because it elevates and personifies a beautiful cat giving that cat the ability to make consequential decisions. The cat's discontent and decision to leave the temple and journey to the river creates ample conflict. Readers will be eager to see if Clement's temple cat can survive living a normal life. Clement's plot progresses showing how the temple cat adopts to a simple life eating fish and playing with children by the sea. Kate Kiesler's beautiful art complements Clement's story with lifelike illustrations of the temple cat, and elaborate illustrations of the exotic Egyptian temple. Kiesler's yellow and brown tones are vivid, yet, subtle and calming. Readers will enjoy reading TEMPLE CAT because Clement's book is attractive and pleasant to read.
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