cover image My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World

My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World

Gilles Bachelet, . . Abrams, $16.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-4913-3

It's a ridiculous proposition, that a man could mistake an elephant for a cat. But French author/artist Bachelet, with droll pen-and-ink illustrations and Gallic wit, pursues the idea's side-splitting implications to their logical end. "My cat is very fat, very sweet, and very, very silly," the narrative begins, in what sounds like the usual oafish opening to a second-rate memoir. But the opening image of a sad-eyed elephant jammed uncomfortably into a tiny cat basket is sure to garner a laugh from the get-go. Nimbly drafted vignettes depict the pet curled up on top of the television with his hairy, bony tail hanging down over the weather map. As if the pictures of the elephant in the litter box and the crabby reply to the Natural History museum defending his portrait of his pet's skeleton were not enough, Bachelet launches into a magnificent series of art parodies, with his beloved elephant—sorry, cat —rendered as if by Ingres, Matisse and a host of other world-renowned painters. Since readers definitely won't be able to have a cat like this in their homes, they had better run out and get this book instead. Ages 4-8. (May)