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Barn Cat Hardcover – September 1, 1998
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"Barn cat at the red barn door, / Barn cat, what are you looking for?" So rings the playful refrain of this feline frolic through the farmyard (and through numbers 1 to 10). Readers are presented with a cat's-eye view of 1 green grasshopper, 2 brown crickets, 3 black-and-orange butterflies, all the way up to 10 sparrows. These distractions would seem compelling enough to a regular cat, but, for some reason, not to barn cat. Young readers will love counting the creatures in the bold, hand-colored woodcuts, which illustrator Mary Azarian created with a 19th-century hand press. And there's plenty to admire in the large, striped barn cat, whose careful expressions are clearly the work of an avid cat observer. Author Carol Saul's nimble verse trips and trills along the pages, buoying the cheerful audience--until the dramatic pause just before the surprise ending. A heartwarming, humorous day in a special cat's life. (Ages 4 to 8) --Brangien Davis
From Publishers Weekly
Azarian's exceedingly handsome woodcuts tether Saul's lyrical counting book to a pastoral setting, where a well-fed tabby cat serenely ignores the barnyard activity that bustles around her. One grasshopper, two crickets, three butterflies and so on, up to 10 sparrows, parade past the disinterested puss, to the recurring refrain of "Barn cat at the red barn door,/ Barn cat, what are you looking for?" At last, the goal of her patient vigil is revealed: the cat's mistress appears, to pour her a saucer of milk. Saul's (Someplace Else) rhyming text is simplicity itself ("Four gray swallows in the air?/ Barn cat looks but doesn't care./ On curving wings they dive and chase./ They wheel and swoop. Away they race!"), and her measured cadences are attuned to a read-aloud audience. An expressive blend of graceful lines and precise hand-coloring enhances Azarian's (A Symphony for the Sheep) sturdy woodcuts, which lend a timeless quality to the pages of this most agreeable picture book. Ages 2-6.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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