The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street

Ann Redisch Stampler, illus. by Francesca Carabelli. Kar-Ben, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7613-8123-5
neighbors becoming friends takes place in contemporary Tel Aviv. There are shades of Cynthia Rylant's Mr. Putter & Tabby books as fishmonger Mr. Modiano brings fish to Mrs. Spiegel every day, with instructions that it is for her, not for her cats, Ketzie and Gatito. She's a cat lover; he is not. Every day, Mrs. Spiegel offers tea to Mr. Modiano, who declines. Then she feeds the fish to her cats. One day, Ketzie goes missing. The story unfolds with gentle humor and the suggestion of deeper feeling behind each scene. Carabelli (A Witch in a Fix) creates expressive humans and felines in scenes of daily life—in the hall of an apartment building, on the beach, in a cafe—using pastel colors to evoke Israel's sun and sea, with splashes of primary colors on people's clothes and lips. Mr. Modiano's white hair and moustache practically have lives of their own, and the cats have extralong tails, whimsical details that emphasize character. The patterns, shading, and textures on each page offer additional visual interest in this light and charming tale. Ages 3–8. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
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FORMATS
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7613-8124-2
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