Sunday, October 18, 2009

Catmares: Cat Dreams by Ursula Le Guin

It's fun to run.
I love to leap.

But now I think
I'll go to sleep.

Oh, how nice!
It's raining mice!

Cat owners have always wondered what those furry catnappers are dreaming of as they snooze. Sure, mice to chase are going to be high on the list, and in Ursula Le Guin's Cat Dreams (Orchard Books, 2009), her clever little calico catches more than mice in her ZZZ-time adventures.

The calico and her black cat friend dream of a giant Trojan cat which frightens the dogs away as two pop out, leaving them free to feast on kibble and cream to celebrate the victory. Things are looking up in cat-ville! Perhaps too far UP!

Now I'm climbing a catnip tree clear to the top.
I'm going to stop
And take a rest in a bluejay's nest.
And all the birdies will sing to me.

Oh, my, oh, me!
I'm falling out of the catnip tree.
This isn't the place I want to be.

I need a lap.

And it doesn't take long for the calico to find her mistress' lap, curl up, and purr herself back to dreamland, where, we hope, it's still precipitating mice, but not raining cats.

The soft gouache and watercolor illustrations of S. D. Schindler really get this attractive little rhyming story off the ground with a calico cat who is as softly realistic and as lovely as a furry feline can be. Cat Dreams reunites the author-illustrator team of the popular Catwings series in another arboreal feline fantasy.

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