- Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
ISBN 978-1-62672-371-9 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys R* 3-6 yrs
It all starts with a single cat, “who lived alone. Until the day a new cat came.” The big white cat shows the little black kitten the ropes, indoctrinating it in the ways of the house and in the ways of catdom, and even when the black cat grows larger than the white cat (“Big cat, bigger cat”) the two are inseparable. Finally, one day the older cat “had to go . . . and didn’t come back,” leaving both the black cat and the family sad. However, when a new kitten turns up, the big black cat teaches the new little one cat ways, and the chain continues (“Big cat, little cat”). The quiet and minimal storytelling is absolutely cat, soft and flexible and present, but it stays respectful and non-anthropomorphic as it treats the changing of the feline guard. Visually, the story is all in the thick, black, inky lines and silhouettes; most pages are monochromatic, with pale, creamy yellow providing background contrast in a few spreads. Though streamlined, the cats are cuddly and lively, with a punctuating slash of whiskers adding energy and expression. Kids won’t have to be cat lovers to find this endearing and quietly reassuring, while young cat owners will want to tell the tale of their own feline friends.