After the Fall...: Tiptop Cat by C. Roger Mader
OF ALL THE GIFTS SHE GOT THAT DAY...THE BEST ONE WAS THE CAT.
And he's a beaut! A perfect tuxedo cat with white-tipped paws and tail, we first see him at the birthday party, amid confetti, balloons, with a strip of curled ribbon draped over one ear.
Curious, he explores his new home, peeping into the kitchen, strolling through the chair legs under the table, peering his image in the bathroom mirror, and checking out the fireplace. But there is one place that begs for further inspection--the balcony.
Through the decorative black railing, the cat looks down seven floors to the street far below.
But that's not what intrigues him most. A short jump from the railing takes him from one rooftop to another, along window ledges, and soon he climbs, past a crowd of chimney pots, to the tiptop flue, where he admires the view, the roofs of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.
But one day there is an intruder on his balcony, a pesky pigeon with a can't-catch-me attitude.
A LITTLE JUNGLE BEAST AWOKE WITHIN THE CAT AND SAID....
The teasing pigeon launches himself out of reach and the cat sails over the railing and
. . . DOWN!
The surprised cat falls, twisting, past an amazed piano player's window, righting himself as he passes a startled gymnist standing on her head and a bemused beagle, right through a red awning and into the incredulous arms of the fruit seller on the sidewalk. The vet's x-rays show no harm done to his bones. Everything seems intact but...
... HIS SPIRIT!
He's a chastened and changed cat. His green eyes are dull and timid. He cowers in the linen closet, tunnels into the laundry basket, and scoots under a rug. It seems there will be no more leaps, no further fun on the rooftops. Until... a cheeky crow appears on his balcony.
AND THAT INNER BEAST STIRRED AGAIN.
Will our spirited cat make that leap of faith to the top of the world once more? In his forthcoming latest cat tale, Tiptop Cat (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014), C. Roger Mader takes his little tuxedo kitty to the heights of the rooftops of Paris. Mader's text is both taut but evocative, and his illustrations are totally delightful, capturing cat body language perfectly and using varying perspectives with great skill. A more endearing storytime kitty would be hard to imagine--peering through one opened bright green eye at the pesky pigeon, falling through space with his mouth a surprised O, landing, with startled eyes crossed, in the storekeeper's strong arms, and sitting silhouetted against the sunset sky of Paris. Even Mader's endpapers are lovely, done in midnight blue with a trail of little cat prints across the rooftops. A fresh, funny, and truly lovely picture book that has appeal to all ages.
Roger Madur is also the illustrator his equally charming Lost Cat Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013). See my review here.
Labels: Cat Stories (Grades Preschool-3)