A Tale of Two Cats

Ayin Hillel, trans. by Ilana Kurshan, illus. by Shimrit Elkanati. Fantagraphics, $12.99 (28p) ISBN 978-1-6839-6266-3
Translated from the Hebrew, this seaside story presents the rhyming, fable-like tale of a disagreement between two vain cats. While playfully wrestling, one cat—“black as tar”—and another—“white as whitewash”—debate who is prettier until finally the rift causes the playmates to part ways: “It was a rather nasty spat,/ For each was quite a stubborn cat.” Eventually, the dapper kitties begin to worry that the other is truly the handsomer, and with actual tar and whitewash, each paints itself the opposite color. Both irritated by their foolishness (“Meow-ow! Ow ow!”), the two cleanse themselves in the sea and, emerging as friends once more, declare that they are loveliest when they’re together. Elkanati’s delicate line drawings are colored with blue, orange, and tan, and create a festive backdrop for the narcissistic felines, whose amusing story may offer fodder for conversation. Ages 6–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 10/24/2019
Release date: 09/10/2019
Genre: Children's
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