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There was an old man, an ol’ Texas boy, who lived with an uppity old cat -- a cat who’d rather eat potato soup than catch blackbirds, a cat who liked to sit on the bow of the old man’s fishing boat like she was a hood ornament. "Fool cat," the old man would say. "You ain’t nobody’s prize." But when the unexpected happens, they both learn that even the most cantankerous love can lead to acts of heroic proportions. With down-home language that’s a joy to read aloud, Terry Farish tells a wry love story about an unlikely pair of curmudgeons, brought to life in glowing illustrations by Barry Root.
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Terry Farish is the author of several young adult novels. She says of THE CAT WHO LIKED POTATO SOUP, "This story began in the kitchen of our old-timer neighbor, Jimmy Fowler. My daughter and I were visiting with him there, gossiping about some village cat or other. Jimmy didn’t have a cat, but he said if we got one, wouldn’t we name it after him? And we did . We got a cat and named her Jimmy."
Barry Root is the illustrator of many books for children. He says, "I’ve always been pro-cat, although our house is divided on the subject. To appreciate a cat requires a certain amount of abstraction, I think - and a sense of humor." Barry Root lives in rural Pennsylvania with his wife (the illustrator Kimberly Bulcken Root), their three children, and a couple of useless dogs.
PreSchool-Grade 3-A curmudgeonly old man and a standoffish cat share potato soup, an electric blanket, and regular fishing trips near their small, comfortable home. When the cat gets tired and the man goes fishing without her, the insulted feline disappears. She howls out the story of her ocean adventure when she returns, and the two reconcile contentedly. The simple tale sparkles with warmth and good humor, thanks to the casual storyteller's voice that carries the narrative. The man liked the cat, "but not so's you'd notice," and "The cat was fond of the man's potato soup, which made him love her a breath more-." Their true feelings are reflected in the watercolor-and-gouache paintings. An early illustration shows the man happily preparing soup with the cat looking on attentively, if not eagerly. This contrasts subtly to a later scene in which the man dines alone, with eyes up as if his lost pet might return at any minute. The prickly relationship between the human and the animal rings true, along with a broader message of friendship. By the time the two are reconciled, readers feel like they know this pair pretty well, more by how they act than by anything they say. The carefully chosen words and charming simplicity of the illustrations lead to an unsentimental, but very satisfying tale of companionship.
Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Candlewick, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11076363297X
Book Description Candlewick. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 076363297X New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW99.1948934
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-076363297X
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-076363297x
Book Description Candlewick, 2007. Condition: New. Barry Root (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M076363297X