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The Secret Night World of Cats Hardcover – August, 1998

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National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the World
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the World
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-Beginning with Amanda's search for her missing cat, this rambling fantasy quickly becomes a leap into a world of flying cats; streams of milk; and mysterious, glowing eyes that shine in the dark. Childlike illustrations in various sizes are placed on brightly colored pages, enhancing their impact and appeal. Felines of different colors and sizes are depicted in widely different settings, from the alley cats of an urban wasteland to the purring kittens of a magical woodland. The text seems to have followed the creation of the artwork rather than vice versa, as it seeks to weave together the adventures of these animals. Like Dave Pilkey's When Cats Dream (Orchard, 1992) or Lane Smith's The Big Pets (Viking, 1991), this book will find a select audience who will appreciate the engaging illustrations and the glimpse into another, very different world.
Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 3^-6. When her cat goes missing on a moonlit night, Amanda climbs out her bedroom window and enters a magical world filled with unusual cats. She travels through the city, into a starlit meadow, and into a forest, where at first she thinks she has found her beloved Tabby. She joins the cat and hundreds of others in a joyful dance but runs away once she discovers the cat isn't really hers. Little ones, especially pet owners, may find the story a bit upsetting, although Amanda is eventually reunited with her furry friend. The story is illustrated by the author's autistic savant brother, who, according to the jacket flap, studies art with a private teacher. At first glance, the paintings appear naive in style, but upon closer examination, they are both sophisticated and sensitive, thanks in great part to their line work and coloring. An imaginative tale that will appeal to cat lovers. Lauren Peterson
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Smith & Kraus; 1 edition (August 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575251175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575251172
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,651,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Helen Landalf was born in San Diego, California, where she grew up with her two brothers, one of whom has autism. His beautiful artwork can be seen in her picture book THE SECRET NIGHT WORLD OF CATS, which he illustrated, and on the cover of MOVEMENT STORIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. When Helen was fifteen years old, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Although she recovered, it was an experience that made a dramatic impact on her life. Perhaps because her teen years were so difficult, she became inspired to write for Young Adults. Her debut YA novel, FLYAWAY, about a girl who struggles to deny her mom's addiction to meth, releases from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Fall 2011. When she's not writing, Helen works as a certified Pilates instructor and teaches Creative Dance to preschoolers. She has authored / co-authored five books for teachers about integrating dance and drama into the preschool and elementary classroom. Helen resides in Seattle, Washington.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This masterful text was the result of a collaboration between author Helen Landalf and her brother, autistic savant artist Mark Rimland. The story of Amanda entering into a "secret world" one night in search of her missing "Tabby" will keep audiences of all ages entertained. Not to mention, Mark's amazing contour style illustrations of the cats and creatures Amanda comes face to face with. I have successfully incorporated the story and artwork into a fun and simple art project that works well with grades 3-6. I highly recommend this fun picture book to all teachers and other animal lovers!!!
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