A city cat and a country cat prowl beneath the same dusky moon.
"One moon. / Two cats / are not asleep. / Cats yawn, / cats stretch, / cats look, / cats LEAP!" City cat watches trucks on the streets below its window. Country cat wends its way past sleepy pigs and ducks. Both groom and explore their separate landscapes until they see a mouse! They chase their mice across their very different territories. Just as each is about to pounce, lightning flashes—and it begins to rain. Both kitties return home in the rain, curl up and snooze into morning under the same sun. Godwin's spare, rhymed verse lends itself to the hushed tones of a bedtime read. Tanaka's muted, ochre-cast acrylics are a good match for the text, but, oddly she gives the cats humanlike eyes, which distorts the otherwise realistically depicted kitties. Even during the mouse chase, their eyes remain half-lidded, suggesting near-total exhaustion or, perhaps, an unseen romp in the catnip patch.
Overall, though, cat fans will enjoy this sleeping and waking tale that starts and finishes on the end papers.ÃÂ (Picture book. 2-5)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Tanaka's (The Magician's Elephant) atmospheric paintings portray a pair of cats who spend their nights in the same way, under the same moon, though they never meet; panel illustrations and spreads show a fluffy white city cat and a sleek country tiger cat leaping, primping, and prowling. As night falls, both prepare to slip off ("One cat watches vans and trucks./ One cat slinks by pigs and ducks") and then to hunt. "Cats' eyes gleam,/ cats blink twice,/ cats get ready,/ cats smell..." (children won't have any trouble supplying the last word: "...mice!"). In two pages of spot illustrations, the cats bound after their quarries, who escape to be pursued another day. Tanaka's moss-green expanses of forest and moonlit rooftops simultaneously draw and haunt. Godwin's (The Doll People) verse is economical and intelligently constructed; wit and action fill her two- and three-word lines. It's an interesting turn on the city mouse and the country mouse; it's clear that both ways of life suit the cats and allow them freedom. The reluctance to give either one primacy carries a quiet message of concord. Ages 2-6. (Aug.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
PreS-Gr 1--Under the light of one moon, two cats are wide awake, one in a city apartment and another in a farmhouse. While the people in their lives are going to sleep, it's clear that the felines have no such intentions. With a "yawn and a stretch," they begin their respective nocturnal journeys. As the urban cat "watches vans and trucks," its rural counterpart "slinks by pigs and ducks." When they "walk the rails," one does so on train tracks while the other tightropes across a rail fence. But whether they roam city streets or country fields, both animals have one passion in common--the pursuit of delectable mice. They "race" and "chase," "creep" and "climb" in a series of small vignettes across a spread in search of their quarry. Only a thunderstorm saves their prey as it forces both felines indoors where they curl up to sleep just as their owners awake to a new day. The brief, rhymed text changes size to match the rhythms of the cats' adventures, and the rich acrylic paintings create an air of nighttime mystery. An ably told and atmospheric romp.--Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT[Page 73]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.