Monday, March 10, 2014

Staff Picks

Could you choose one cat out of millions of beautiful cats?  An old woman tells her husband she wants a cat.  The obedient man immediately leaves on a quest to find just the right cat for his beloved wife.  This task proves too difficult for the indecisive man. He cannot choose among the “hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats” that he sees covering every possible space on every hillside. As his journey progresses, he ends up looking like the Pied-Piper of cats with all those millions of cats following him home.  He cannot possibly take care of so many as they have already eaten an entire field of grass and lapped up a whole lake!  Seemingly incapable of choosing, the old man walks home with the parade of cats at his heels.

First published in 1928, Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag is still a fun read with catchy repetition and beautiful artwork.  Sweeping pen-and-ink drawings will delight any reader.  Little cat heads and bodies seem to make up entire hillsides.  The drawings of the old man with armfuls of cats (including one on his head) are imaginative.   The old man and the cats always seem to be walking to the next page, compelling the reader onward to a sweetly satisfying ending.

Children as young as four will enjoy having this story read aloud to them.  The old man tries so hard to find the “prettiest” cat only to see more and more just as pretty or more so.  Being satisfied with what you are given is a great lesson for any child to learn.  This book does so with style and without being preachy.

Kim Ottesen
Information Specialist - Youth Services