cover image Cat Talk

Cat Talk

Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest, illus. by Barry Moser. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-027978-3

This collection of 13 handsomely illustrated free-verse poems makes an eclectic and engaging feline companion to MacLachlan and Charest’s Once I Ate a Pie and I Didn’t Do It. Speaking in a delightful range of voices, the cats each share their proclivities. Princess Sheba Darling is smugly narcissistic (“As hard as I try, I could never be more beautiful/ Than I am/ Now”), and no-nonsense Sylvie is not one to mess with: “I am the boss cat./ I twitch my tail to prove it./ I boss the dogs. I boss my people.” Moser (Oh, Harry!) again demonstrates his prowess at portraying animals with realism and affection; his stately watercolors capture the cats’ playful, laconic, and independent personalities. There are occasional glimpses of the pets’ owners, but the focus is largely on the cats, with playful accouterments adding splashes of color, whether a yellow rubber ducky, a pair of pink bunny slippers, or a purple (computer) mouse. A treat for cat lovers of all ages. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Jeff Dwyer, Dwyer & O’Grady. (Mar.)