cover image Not a Cat: A Memoir

Not a Cat: A Memoir

Winter Miller, illus. by Danica Novgorodoff. Tilbury House, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-88448-879-8

“I don’t feel that ‘cat’ describes me,” a sleek gray tom announces at the start of this mod “memoir,” a children’s book debut “as told to” playwright Miller by her late pet, Gato. First outlining the numerous ways he’s similar to other animals (“Sometimes I eat grass. Maybe I’m a cow?”), Gato goes on to describe having many human-like experiences. Stylish unlined illustrations show the feline driving a taxi in San Francisco, taking the subway in N.Y.C., and sipping a milk cocktail beneath the Hollywood sign. “How do you know I’m not a person?” questions the cool cat, clad in a green track suit and gold chains, before the book concludes with a fitting challenge to labels’ utility. Novgorodoff’s illustrations aptly portray people of various abilities, ages, cultures, religions, and skin tones, and a final portrait of Gato beneath the framed, cross-stitched adage “You be you” resoundingly drives home Miller’s message of acceptance. Ages 3–5. (Mar.)