Monday, July 5, 2010

A Clowder of Cats

Like a graceful vase, a cat, even when motionless, seems to flow. - George F. Will

When it comes to picture books, look no further than your very own backyard and the popular, ever-appealing image of the feline.

First we have the Zoom books by Tim Wynne-Jones, illustrated by Eric Beddows (Groundwood/Akadine Press):


Pounce de Leon, also by Tim Wynne-Jones, illustrator, Alfredo Tapia (Red Deer Press, 2008)

The Cat at Night by Dahlov Ipcar (Doubleday, 1969) See more of his stunning artwork.

Ursula LeGuin's Cat Dreams, illustrated by S.D. Schindler (Scholastic, 2009)

Mimi's Dada Cat-ifesto by Shelley Jackson (Clarion, 2010)

Cat's Night Out by Caroline Stutson, illustrated by J. Klassen (Simon and Schuster, 2010)

Magic Night by Australian author, Isobelle Carmody, illustrated by Declan Lee (Random House, 2007)

Cats and night seem to go together. Curious, yes? No, not really.

Now I suppose I shall have to put together a post of a kennel of dogs.


  1. Mimi's Dada Cat-ifesto - love it!
    On the YA side, there is Holly Black's White Cat. And I'm reminded of an early post of mine, when my son's cat was missing (she was found later and she's still around being uniquely Shiva).

  2. I love the MAGIC NIGHT cover, for a few reasons. First, the clarity of the cat's eyes amazes me. Are there actually cats with clear eyes? Second, I love that the cat is white, since black cats are usually associated with magic. And last, there's something brown at the top of the cover that I can't figure out. I thought it was a shoe, or maybe a hoof, or maybe it's my poor eyesight preventing me from seeing the image clearly--whatever it is, I'm intrigued. I'm going to have to go find that one.

  3. Hi Carol:

    I doubt you remember me. I received my Graduate Certificate in the Picture Book Program, Vermont College, January 2009. Doing my semester reading I discovered several pictures books which had been reissued with updated covers. The Easter Bunny That Overslept by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich is one. It's text was even updated with permisson of the estate. It was originallly published in 1952. The Cay by Theodore Taylor has had several different covers.

  4. I thought the eyes were light blue?? And that brown thing is, I'm pretty sure, a satyr (lower regions). You've reminded me of a book I read to pieces as a kid: The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian by Lloyd Alexander, in which the white cat, Presto, is accused of being an evil black cat that changed itself to white to trick people into thinking it wasn't a witch.

  5. Linda, Holly Black's cover cat looks just like my little Lupe kitty-cat. Love the juxtaposition with the tough black leather.

  6. How fun! What a great idea for a site--I just found it via your post to the Kidlitosphere list. For years I wanted to be a book cover illustrator (but ended up moving over to fine art and writing), so I'm looking forward to exploring more of this blog. :)

    Also, I think I HAVE to read Mimi's Dada Cat-ifesto now.

  7. Welcome, a. fortis and Mary Ann! We do have a blog with lots of eye candy and it's great fun to work on.

  8. Carol - What do you think of the series title smoking across the eyes on the Holly Black book? I'm thinking I don't like it... but I'm not totally sure... I DO wonder why this choice was made.
    MY cat's the opposite. Black (Gink, after the cat in the old Dorrie the Witch books). Would be interesting to see this cover in reverse with a cat like Gink in the center - black cat, white leather:-)

  9. Hey, Holly is here where I am at Vermont College this weekend. I'll see if I can ask her personally. Maybe it has some symbolic link to the fact that the book is a sort of mafia/noir fantasy. Not sure how. I love the idea of a black cat on white leather.

  10. Just found another good cover to add to your clowder here :-)
    Hope you got to talk to Holly!

  11. Gah! No, Holly left before I had a chance to ask her, but I'll try to connect soon. Amazing how many cat covers are out there on novels, too. It makes me curious about the symbolism of the cat image for Westerners--as if the cat could be shorthand for one message or another.