My Mother’s Daughter ) retelling of a well-known Chinese folktale explaining the naming of the Chinese"/>

The Cat’s Tale: Why the Years Are Named for Animals

Doris Orgel, Author, Meilo So, Illustrator , illus. by Meilo So. Roaring Brook/Porter $17.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59643-202-4

An awkward narrative frame complicates Orgel’s (My Mother’s Daughter ) retelling of a well-known Chinese folktale explaining the naming of the Chinese zodiac, and not even So’s (Pale Male ) buoyant, abundantly patterned watercolors compensate for the structural flaws. Willow’s grandmother, known as Nai Nai, is babysitting and beginning to read a version of the titular story when the narrator—the cat Mao—objects with a sharp scratch to Nai Nai. Banished, with Willow following him in solidarity against Nai Nai, Mao purrs—“Purring makes magic happen. I turn into that cat from long ago, and tell my story.” With this, the cat relates his part in the famous river race between 13 of the Jade Emperor’s favorite animals (he ends up stranded). The artist clearly delineates the two strands, adopting loose lines and floating vignettes on white space for the contemporary narrative and shifting to a highly stylized, decorative approach for the fable. Orgel implies a parallel: the cat and Willow are stranded by their impulsive choices and rescued by generous elders, but she joins the two story lines so oddly that the connection may elude the audience. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/11/2008
Release date: 12/01/2008
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.