Review of My Very Own Special Particular Private and Personal Cat

My Very Own Special Particular Private and Personal Cat My Very Own Special Particular Private and Personal Cat
by Sandol Stoddard Warburg; designed and illus. by Remy Charlip
Preschool, Primary    Enchanted Lion    56 pp.
7/23    9781592703852    $17.95

First published in 1963. A playful, singsongy, almost stream-of-consciousness-like text (“He said / Mmm / He said / Umm / He said / Humm / He said / Hum-de-dum”) and bold, minimalist illustrations in a limited palette tell the story of a boy who tries to impose his will on his cat (dressing him up, giving him a ride in a wagon)—but the cat has other ideas. He wants to climb trees, listen for bees, sniff the air, etc. The boy then begins to consider his own sense of self—and the book ends happily with the cat choosing to sleep at the end of the boy’s bed. This is a very effective communication of the concepts of boundaries, identity, and autonomy, presented in a child-friendly way.

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Martha V. Parravano

Martha V. Parravano is a contributing editor to The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

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