BIG CAT, little cat

big cat little cat

BIG CAT, little cat

Elisha Cooper
Roaring Brook Press, 2017

From the dust jacket: “There was a cat who lived alone. Until the day a new cat came … . From award-winning author Elisha Cooper comes a poignant story about friendship, family, and new beginnings.”

From the description on the dust jacket, it would seem this book is rather simple – but it’s not. Well, it is, on the surface. A cat lives alone with his family; they bring home a new kitten; the older (big) cat teaches the younger (little) cat how to be a cat. They have many years together until the older cat goes away – and doesn’t come back. Sad. But … . Can’t say – don’t want to ruin it.

Big Cat, Little Cat is a perfect vehicle for opening a dialog with your kittens about life and death and life. The very simple line drawings pack a punch, the words are few but powerful and the story evokes emotions of both joy and grief. The book is like haiku in that for a true wordsmith it only takes a few words to communicate volumes. Experienced readers will certainly be able to read the book on their own – but read it as a family, instead. It may evoke memories both joyful and sad that need to be spoken aloud so the love may be paid forward.

Rating: 5 of 5 paws because it’s a truly beautiful story that is overflowing with the truth of life.

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon

 

Twelve Angry Librarians

twelve angry librarians

Twelve Angry Librarians
A Cat in the Stacks Mystery

Miranda James
Berkley Prime Crime, 2017

From the dust jacket, “Lighthearted librarian Charlie Harris is known around his hometown of Athena, Mississippi, for walking his cat, a rescued Maine Coon named Diesel. But he may soon be taken for a walk himself—in handcuffs…

“Charlie is stressed. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year’s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. As if that weren’t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie’s old nemesis from library school.

“It’s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong and he’s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone’s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So when Gavin drops dead, no one seems too upset…

“But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them, before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library…”

Sorry for the long introduction; we here at the Library usually try to keep those dust jacket intros short but sometimes it’s hard with adult fiction. Anyway, despite the intro being a little long and a bit salacious (you know our hero, Charlie, is never in any danger of going to prison!!) the book was outstanding. I read it in two days. I waited three months on the hold list for the book and read it so fast I feel guilty. I may have to read it again before I turn it back in!

This light, cozy mystery is a good read and while you know right off who is going to get murdered (in cozies, it’s always the most obnoxious person in the first couple of chapters) its’ less easy to figure out who did the killing. This mystery is a good one and I didn’t figure it out – I had to wait until Charlie revealed who the murderer was!

If you’re looking for vacation reading, check out Miranda James’ mysteries. There are currently two series: this one (The Cat in the Stacks) and Southern Ladies (with 2 elderly Southern belles solving mysteries) that are very well written and fun.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because the book has a giant house cat and a librarian as its’ central characters! Also, it’s just a darn good story.

Reviewer:

toby-loc

Toby

The Legend of the Golden Snail

the legend of the golden snail

The Legend of the Golden Snail

Graeme Base
Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS, 2010

From the dust jacket, “In Wilbur’s favorite book, legend tells of a magnificent Golden Snail that has been banished to the Ends of the Earth by a Grand Enchanter. Inspired by this amazing story, Wilbur sets out on a daring voyage to claim the Golden Snail as his own. Along the way he encounters strange creatures and a series of challenges – rough seas, pirates, the Maze of Madness and the Dreadful Doldrums. Finally, Wilbur reaches the Ends of the Earth, but what he finds there is not quite as he imagined …”

If you are familiar with Graeme Base’s picture books, then you will know his illustrations are jam-packed with detail, fanciful creatures, and a hidden image on every page the reader is challenged to find. This book is no exception. The copy I read was oversized, beautifully illustrated (as all Base’s works are) and fun. Wilbur goes on a grand adventure and learns a lesson in kindness along the way. He learns that the good things you do out of kindness – things that no one else will see – have a good way of coming back to you. The book will be easy to read for middle – late readers, although early readers will love it being read to them! The print is a large medium size that is black on white background which also makes it easy to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws because in addition to everything mentioned above, Wilbur’s traveling companion is an orange tabby like Toby!!!

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon

The Whole Town’s Talking

the whole towns talking

The Whole Town’s Talking

Fannie Flagg
Random House, 2016

From the dust jacket: “The one and only Fannie Flagg, bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, is at her superb best in this fun-loving, moving novel about what it means to be truly alive.
“Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. Original, profound, The Whole Town’s Talking, a novel in the tradition of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Flagg’s own Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.
… “With her trademark humor, wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town’s Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.”

Fannie Flagg is a favorite author here at The Library and we read everything she writes. Ms Flagg didn’t disappoint this time – everything the publisher said about her being humorous, imaginative and a fabulous storyteller is all true. This novel is unlike her others in that it takes a grand overview of Elmwood Springs from its founding in 1889 until its ultimate demise in 2021. If you’re a reader of hers, then you’ll be familiar with the characters – Elner Shimfissle, Tot Whooten, and Norma Jenkins. They’re all there and more from her other books as well. (My favorite is Elner Shimfissle. What a character!!) It’s nice to see what happens to them after their books end.

Ms Flagg has an altogether original, some may say strange, outlook on life after death. I spent my time trying to imagine it – I can’t tell you imagine what exactly – I don’t want to give it away – but I really couldn’t and the very last surprise, saved until the last pages – will either make you laugh or shake your head in disbelief. I did both.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because it was funny, sad, and mind-blowing all at once!!

Reviewer:

bobbiesue-loc

BobbieSue

 

Lola Gets a Cat

lola gets a cat

Lola Gets a Cat

Anna McQuinn
Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Charlesbridge, 2017

From the dust jacket: “Lola really wants a cat. But Mommy says pets are a lot of work. Lola is eager to find out more.
“She reads all about cats at the library. She takes extra good care of her stuffed cat toys. When Lola finally gets to adopt a cat of her own, she knows just what to do.”

Awwwww – this book is very Awwwww worthy! If you’re a human and your kitten, er, child wants a cat, this is a book to read. It shows exactly how it should happen. Read, practice, adopt!!!

Lola is so adorable with all her cat paraphernalia in her room (she reminds me of mom and her cat stuff!). We ABSOLUTELY LOVE that Lola’s mom takes her to the LIBRARY to find out more information. Books are way better than Googling it! Then she puts in to practice what she’s read – never were stuffed kitties so well fed! Then it’s time and off to the shelter they go – another thing we ABSOLUTELY LOVE! – to find the right kitty. Kitty is finally brought home and learns how much Lola loves her.

Thinking of adopting one of us regal creatures to grace your home? Read this ‘how-to’ book first! You won’t regret it.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because there is nothing we don’t like about this story and has everything to love in it!!

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon