cover image Cat & Kit

Cat & Kit

Jenny Koralek, Patricia MacCarthy. Hyperion Books, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0037-7

Not only ailurophiles will be touched by this affectionate portrait of a mature feline and a young foundling. A country-dwelling Cat, wise to the ways of the woods, fields and farm, one day discovers ``a sad sight: one small Kit.'' Cat presents Kit to a farmer for tending, and later teaches his charge to forage for food. But when Farmer gives Kit to his grandson in the city (``no woods, no fields, no farm, no mice, no rats, no rabbits''), the little critter's ``sad eyes'' tell of his homesickness. The grandson returns Kit to the wild, where boy and Cat realize that ``we must both let him go.'' Koralek (The Cobweb Curtain) adroitly captures these animals' activities and feelings; with its judicious repetitions (``Cat watched the wild and hunted for his food and protected his own'' becomes a telling leitmotif) and occasionally fragmented sentences, her writing carries a poetic sensibility. MacCarthy's (17 Kings and 42 Elephants) trademark batik-like illustrations are an inspired complement, their lustrous colors and close-up perspectives depicting a wide range of emotions. A collaboration brimming with grace and charm. Ages 3-7. (May)