Tag Archives: Cats

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu by Junji Ito

junji-itos-cat-diary-yon-and-mu-by-junji-ito Title: Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon and Mu
Author: Junji Ito
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
ISBN: 978-1632361974
Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga
Pages: 120
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars

Another cat book this month, another cat graphic novel and that too a manga which I adored to bits. I was browsing Amazon and chanced on this graphic novel and was elated on discovering it. After all, it is a real story and it is a real story about two cats, Yon and Mu and how they came to be Junji Ito’s cats – the one who did not like cats to begin with.

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I have always considered myself to be a dog person and not a cat person at all. Till cats entered my life and now life is no longer the same. I could so relate to the book as I went along and even though I knew it was a Manga and it would end soon, I just didn’t want it to end.

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The book is about Ito’s experiences with not one but two cats and how his life is never the same. Cats are not like Dogs and they never will be. They do what they must and when they must. They will never listen to you, no matter how hard you try and all you want to do then do is love them. There is also a portion that will shock you and move you to tears (don’t worry, this is not a spoiler).

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Ito’s experiences with his cats are something else – he makes them seem larger than life of course given he is the horror hero of manga and translates that superlatively in this book as well. Cats can be full of horror if you don’t know them – Ito uses that angle to the book. The funny vignettes about his wife and the cats are heartwarming and beyond any mode of social media – Thank God for that! You need this book in your life if you love cats! That’s all there is to it.

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gág

millions-of-cats-by-wanda-gag Title: Millions of Cats
Author: Wanda Gág
Publisher: Penguin USA
ISBN: 978-0142407080
Genre: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars

A lot of cat books are being read this month. This one is the second one and there is also a third one waiting to be reviewed. “Millions of Cats” by Wanda Gág is an adorable and yet kinda scary book on cats. This is again a book I read for my reading project of 40 Cat Books. I love this project. One of my favourite reading projects. So what is this book about?

It is actually a picture book (no wonder it took me less than fifteen minutes to finish reading it) of an old man and his wife who are lonely and decide to get a cat and how the old man goes in search of one and what happens thereafter, when he actually meets a million cats and doesn’t know which one to choose.

The book is a Newbery Honor winner and completely had me from the word go. It is a delightful read and the illustrations are simple and yet so enchanting. “Millions of Cats” is a read meant for both – kids and adults. I absolutely adored this book and would recommend all parents to gift it to their young ones and see the smile on their face.

All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat (And then Some) by Suzy Becker

all-i-need-to-know-i-learned-from-my-cat-and-then-some-by-suzy-becker Title: All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat (And then Some)
Author: Suzy Becker
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
ISBN: 978-0761147664
Genre: Comic Strips
Pages: 144
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars

Reading Suzy Becker’s book on what cats can teach you made me miss my cats a lot while I was in Singapore. This is where I picked the book from and I couldn’t wait to get back home to meet my cats. When I did, I learned something else from them: You leave us and we will ignore you for an hour or so. You will plead and beg and plead some more but we shall not show affection or love. Sigh. But it is true: Cats do teach life lessons which perhaps other humans cannot.

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The book is aptly titled; “All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat (And Then Some)” is a book of cartoons – with some lesson or tidbit wisdom from cats. There are so many truths in these pages – people who have cats and those who don’t also will relate to this book.

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The illustrations are so plain and cute that they will melt your heart and you would want more. This book is a delight, it is brilliant and it is silly and makes you realize the things that you need to be in touch with and what is absolutely okay to let go of.

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“All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat (And then some) is a meditative book on living and life. Most importantly, it will make you see your cats differently. A lot of Cat Zen and Wisdom in these pages. A must read.

Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill

Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill Title: Jenny and the Cat Club
Author: Esther Averill
Publisher: NYRB Children’s Collection
ISBN: 978-1590170472
Genre: Children’s Books, Children’s Fiction
Pages: 176
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars

This is an adorable book which all cat lovers and non-cat lovers must also read. What else do I say about this? Esther Averill successfully created a series about Jenny Linski, the cat and her friends, when cats weren’t that hipster. This book, “Jenny and the Cat Club” is the first in the series of many cat books written by Esther and I so intend reading all of them – one after the other.

Being the first book, it introduces readers to Jenny and how she became a part of the cat club. It is about her life with her owner known as the captain. She is an orphaned black cat with her trademark red scarf. The book is set in Greenwich Village.

It is one of the most endearing books I’ve read in a very long time. The stories are old-fashioned for sure, and yet there is this enduring charm about them that makes you want to be in that place and experience the way those stories turned out.

Esther never used too many words to tell a story. Brevity was the key and one can see work itself beautifully in these stories. I cannot resist but mention the illustrations. They are simple and beautifully drawn by the author herself. Hence the personal touch and the knowing of how each cat will look. What makes the book so wonderful is the presence of so many cats. You just want them to keep conversing and know more about the mysterious cat world.

I am so glad I ordered this book and read it. I am glad I stumbled on it and I recommend every parent to buy this book and read it to their children. Your child will love you for it and you will love introducing something new to your child.

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate Title: Crenshaw
Author: Katherine Applegate
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
ISBN: 978-0007951185
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Pages: 256
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars

If a book like “Crenshaw” doesn’t warm your heart, then I don’t know what will. I absolutely adored the book. I knew it would end soon (barely about 250 odd pages) and I so didn’t want it to. I had read “The One and Only Ivan” two years ago and couldn’t stop recommending it to people. I loved it. I cried, I laughed, I wept like a baby, and I needed to be consoled after the book ended. I was scared picking up “Crenshaw” thinking I would feel the same, but surprisingly I was perhaps stronger or the story sailed me through the parts when I came this close to burst into tears but did not.

“Crenshaw” is an imaginary cat. He is ten-year-old Jackson’s friend and times aren’t easy for Jackson and his family. The landlord is at the door. There is not much to eat in the fridge. His parents are trying very hard to keep their family afloat. And in all of this an imaginary friend comes along and changes his life forever, making him realize how to hold things and people dear to him.

The plot of Katherine Applegate’s books for children is threadbare. What infuses life into them is language, the fact that you can not only relate to them but that the feelings resonate, and you then realize that it is absolutely okay not to have answers to everything in life, because life doesn’t work that way anyway.

“Crenshaw” is a big-hearted book for people who have a long way to go. It is not only for children or teens but most certainly for adults as well. Our lessons after all do come from places where we least expect them to pop from. I love that about life and about books that teach us that.