Sara Swan Miller
Illustrated by True Kelley
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002
From the dust jacket, “Here kitty, kitty! Would you like to hear a story? Here is your chance to cozy up with your cat and treat her to three new stories written just for felines. If your cat likes to wake up early—very early—then she’ll think this book is the cat’s meow. She will also like to hear about some interesting birthday presents and funny white stuff she can play in. Here is a funny book to savor with or without your favorite cat!
“Sara Swan Miller and True Kelly, author and illustrator of Three Stories You Can Read to Your Cat, have again joined forces to create three new and hilarious adventures that will have readers everywhere happily purring. So do your cat a favor and read her this book. Just remember to pet your pet while you read!”
Three MORE stories??!! I haven’t even read the first ones! Anyway, speaking as a cat who reads books to other cats – it was very funny!! While the birthday present one and the white fluffy stuff (snow) one were both funny – the waking up early one was the funniest by far! It reminded me so much of what Toby goes through with mom almost every morning! I rolled on the floor laughing it was so funny. The author must know cats very well to write something so true to feline nature.
Rating 4 out of 5 paws for laugh out loud funny stories that you’d better read to your cats!!!
From the dust jacket, “It is 1928, and the glitz and glam of show business in pre-Depression era New York City is in full swing. The lights are bright for the financiers and those who entertain them, and life seems good in the big city.
“But in one house, a little girl named Samantha is sent away by her cold, ruthless stepmother, and she does not return until it’s too late. The market has crashed, her father is gone, and her stepmother is more desperate for wealth and attention than ever.
“With a moody, dramatic feel reminiscent of film noir, acclaimed graphic novelist Matt Phelan has retold a well-known fairy tale in a wholly new way, showcasing the Depression era’s cultural dynamism and vivid personalities, both those who are pure of heart and those who are pure evil.”
We don’t normally read graphic novels – in fact the only time we do is for a challenge requirement and this time was no exception. We’re participating in the library’s Reading Marathon Challenge, which is to read 26 books in a year (we’re already on book 20 so 26 is nothing!). In addition to the Marathon Challenge we’re participating in the Extra Mile Challenge where you read specific book types; in this case the challenge was to “Read a Book with a Red Cover’ and ‘Read a Graphic Novel’.
Unfortunately, the glowing words of the publisher are lost on me. It is a lovely book filled with dramatic and moody illustrations. It is a completely new version of the familiar tale that is really cool. The stepmother is pure evil and Snow pure good. It has all the right things except words. The words are few and far between and then only as necessary. I know that’s the point of a graphic novel but it’s just not my ‘thing’. If you enjoy fairy stories, comic books, graphic novels and the like, then definitely read the book. If you don’t, then spend the 15 minutes it takes to read the book doing something else.
Rating 3 out of 5 paws only because graphic novels are uninteresting to me.
Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2015
From the dust jacket: “You may think you know this story. There’s a young queen, about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle, shrouded in thorns; and a princess, cursed by a witch, so rumor has it, to sleep forever.
“But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines. A queen might just prove herself a hero, if a princess needs rescuing. . . . .”
This is definitely not your mother’s fairy tale. Combine Sleeping Beauty with Snow White with a little dark magic thrown in and you’ve got this short story. Well written and beautifully illustrated, you adults may want to read it before letting your kittens have a go at it! There’s nothing bad in it (e.g., sex, violence, bad language); it’s just, shall we say, a bit untraditional when it comes to the princess asleep in the tower. And, the ending doesn’t belong in any Disney fairy tale either. But overall a nice tale freshly woven from old stories; and, who says fairy tale princesses need to be freed by a prince?
Rating: 4 of 5 paws for a unconventional new take on two very old and staid stories.