Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Cat Will Play: When Martha's Away by Bruce Ingman

Ever wonder what your cat does all day while you're away? Martha is sure her ginger cat Lionel cat naps the day away, but Lionel's agenda would hold a few surprises for his mistress if only she knew!

At ten o'clock I set up my easel and paints and Gladys from Apartment 34 stops by to pose for me.

I cook myself some lunch. My favorite is a nice bit of salmon washed down with a cool saucer of milk.

Lionel is one busy dude: he reads the daily CAT NEWS from front page headlines to back page ads; works out to keep one step ahead of the dog next door; and lets Flash Harry in the backdoor with his secret suitcase of, er, hot cat treats. Lionel even finds time to squeeze in a few cat cartoons and even a wee nap before it's time to slip into his tux and perform some piano pieces for his fans in his weekly afternoon concert.

After taking the car out for a quick spin, Lionel is ready for the really BIG performance of the day--the one where he dashes downstairs just in time to pretend to be snoozing on the sofa when Martha gets home from school. Whew!

Lionel is quite the cat about town in Bruce Ingman's charming little kitty catalog of a day in the life, When Martha's Away (Candlewick Press, 2010). While his mistress is out, this cool cat has quite an active life, and Ingman sets his simple, matter-of-fact text off against pleasingly detailed illustrations, a bit reminiscent of the earlier books of Tomi Ungerer and Bernard Waber, which tell the true story of the secret life of cats.




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