Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Literary Feline: The Bookstore Cat by Cylin Busby

The bookstore cat is an ADORABLE cat!

But if he doesn't like the sort of cat food the gentle librarian gives him, he is also ...

a BOSSY cat!

He can be a cozy, coddled, cuddled cat, especially fond of laps which already have a laptop computer on them. On the other hand, when a stranger approaches, he can dart away and make himself scarce. In the courtyard he can excitedly climb a fence to see a friendly dog on the other side. He may be gorgeous (although he tries to appear humble)!

The bookstore cat is many things, all in alphabetical order--sometimes he's as wild as a kitten, sometimes not so nice, as he leaps high and pushes books and potted plants off the shelves--but almost always loving and patient with the little kids in the children's section. And when he tires of his duties, he snoozes on shelves, amid displays, and in the acquisitions office inside those sturdy cardboard boxes that books are shipped in. He manages to take a dive into the bookstore aquarium, emerging as a yucky and yowling cat. He's everywhere and nowhere, and when evening comes, he is...

... a ZIGZAG CAT...

...who is hard to catch at closing time, in Cylin Busby's adorable new title, The Bookstore Cat (Balzer and Bray, 2020). Author Busby's big orange striper is the favorite pet of patrons, adding some cachet and clutter to the scene, in the winsome and endearing illustrations of the award-winning artist Charles Santoso. What could be better than an alphabet book that brings together cats and books and vocabulary-building for all ages? The author's note states that the book is based on an old Victorian game, the Minister's Cat, in which one by one the players come up with their own adjective to describe the cat through the alphabet in a vocabulary-enriching competition to keep the words coming without breaking the clapping rhythm. This brand-new offering is handy for March's Dr. Seuss' Read Across America Day, April's National Library Week, or May's Book Week, or any school's own book fair promotions.

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