Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cats Dreams: Cream, Raining Mice, Catnip Trees

To nap, purrchance to dream

We love to wonder what our babies are dreaming about, our furbabies especially. When their whiskers twitch and paws move we smile and imagine all sorts of delights cryptically crossing their dreamscape. 

Author and poet Ursula K. LeGuin and Illustrator S.D. Schindler give us a peek inside the magic naptime of one curled up torty. I became a fan of LeGuin through her science fiction writing during my 20s. She has crafted a series of junior fiction entitled CatWings, and several other younger children's titles which feature cats and other critters.  Schindler also collaborated with LeGuin on Catwings, Snow Globe Family, The Runaway Pumpkin, and others.

First purrson

The lyric poem of a picture book is stated in few simple words complemented by lovely  watercolor and gouache pictures, which are lovely to look at but also help the reader "feel" the story.  We see our kitty run and play then call it a day, spying a spot to curl up. Usually, this is all we get to see of our cats in repose. But LeGuin and Schindler help us picture the pleasures we could only imagine.

"Oh, how nice! It's raining mice!  Oh, happy day! All the dogs have run away! Kibbles and cream. What a good dream! Now I'm climbing a catnip tree clear to the top. I'm going to stop and have a rest in a blue jay's nest, and all the birdies will wing to me..."

Suddenly, the catnip tree wobbles, kitty falls down (resembling our own sudden shakes in our sleep) and is jolted awake to find a better spot: "Her lap is the best, best place for a nap. I leap to her lap. I'm sitting on her. I'm singing my song inside of my fur. Purr..purr..purr..purr..."

Reader guidelines suggest that Cat Dreams is perfect for those in Pre-K through Second Grade, but catlovers of any age will no doubt be charmed.