Saturday, June 12, 2010

Windows With Birds

Karen Ritz

I was taken aback by just how much I loved this book. The only negative is that I think the front cover is a bit misleading, at isn't as great as the inside material and story. People who judge a book by the cover might very well miss out on a really great book, like I very nearly did.  But that's what they get for being book cover judgemental, right?  Nah, I always want to share the great books with as many people as possible.    
This is a very simple, lovely story about a cat who lived with a wonderful family in the perfect house. Their house had twenty-six stairs, twenty-nine hiding places, a mouse to bat around, and of course ... birds right outside the windows.  He also had a small boy who took very good care of him. For all these reasons, the cat was extremely happy in his home. 
One day the boy zipped the cat into his jacket and took him away from his stairs and clever hiding places and taunting birds.  They moved to a new home - this one was very high up inside a tall building, surrounded by many other similar buildings. The cat moped and shrunk behind the couch, refusing to come out to explore his new home. They boy tried everything he knew to get the cat to play, but the cat refused to be lured out from his lair. Cats are funny that way, aren't they?  I'll show you - I'd rather sit in this musty closet!

When night falls, the cat finally slips out and curls up into a ball on the bed next to the boy.  The next morning, he is surprised to discover there are birds outside these windows too! After some lively bird chasing through the rooms, he hunts down his dishes and starts to seek out new hiding places.  This house is different from the old one, but there are new and wonderful things to discover here, making this his new perfect home. 

The cat may think his home is perfect, but the real perfection here is the illustrations! Realistic, gorgeous - I may go as far as saying they are heartwarming. Along with a great story, they totally make this a completely wonderful book. Again, don't be put off by the cover.  Honestly, everything inside blows it away by a mile. 

Review copy provided by Boyds Mills Press.

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