Big Cat, Little Cat
Big Cat, Little Cat

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Annotation: In this poignant story about love that persists through loss, two cats form a friendship that lasts for years--until one day, the older cat leaves, and doesn't come back.
Catalog Number: #160066
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-626-72371-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1075-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-626-72371-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1075-6
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2016002014
Dimensions: 22 x 23 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
It's all about simple text and clean lines in this picture book about feline camaraderie. Cooper certainly loves and understands cat behavior, as exemplified in his various poses of cats at rest and in action. A big cat (white) welcomes a new little cat (black) to the household, and shows it "when to eat, when to drink, where to go, how to be, and when to rest." The white cat is outlined in black lines on generous white space as the two partake in these activities; the black cat is profiled in silhouette, with only one tiny white dot for an eye. As the years go by, the black cat grows bigger, and eventually the white cat "has to go." A silhouetted family mourn along with the black cat. But soon a little white cat arrives, and the now-big black cat teaches it all the same lessons. In a final double-page spread the two dream happily, completing the concept of the circle of life in loving contentment.
Horn Book
This unsentimental picture book about the cycle of life rivets our attention on a housecat and its kitten companion--and then, after the death of the first, the now-grown second cat's new companion. Cooper's thick black lines produce figures full of kinetic energy and personality. The circular story is beautifully reinforced by repetition in the spare art and text; it's at once realistic and comforting.
Publishers Weekly
Like a Japanese brush painter, Cooper (8: An Animal Alphabet) uses bold, black lines to trace the outlines of a white cat; it roams through an apartment, playing with yarn and gazing at the bird feeder. Then a black kitten arrives, and the white cat shows it -when to eat, when to drink, where to go, how to be.- -Big cat, little cat,- Cooper writes as the two sleep embraced, their curves a rhythmic composition of black and white. The two grow ever closer until, with little warning, the white cat -got older, and one day he had to go... and didn-t come back. And that was hard. For everyone.- The black cat is pictured alone on the page; the next spread pulls back to reveal its human family, all bereft. Even younger readers will understand their grief. But when a white kitten arrives, the story begins again: -The cat showed the new cat what to do. When to eat, when to drink, where to go, how to be.- With quiet grace, Cooper delivers the message that love persists through loss. Ages 3-6. Agent: Liz Darhansoff, Darhansoff & Verrill. (Mar.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
The circle of life in a cat-loving household."There was a cat // who lived alone. / Until the day // a new cat came." The big white cat meets the little black cat and shows it how to be a cat: when to drink and when to eat, where to potty, and when to nap. The black cat grows up, and the two do everything together: climbing, hunting, exploring, and (sometimes) going wild—but just for a short time. Years go by, and the white cat gets older. One day the black cat is alone…and that is hard "for everyone." (Here there's a black silhouette of a family of humans). Then…one day, a little white cat appears, and the black cat shows it how to be a cat. "Big cat, little cat." Cooper's gentle tale of the loss of a feline friend is perfect bibliotherapy for those who have lost a loved pet. His deceptively simple, fluid black-and-white line drawings bring all aspects of cat life to the page. And the subtle background colors of selected spreads—yellow for happy times, gray for sad—effectively convey the emotions. A hard book to read for anyone who has lost a feline family member but a heart-healing message all the same. (Picture book. 3-8)
Word Count: 165
Reading Level: 1.5
Interest Level: P-K
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 1.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 188511 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:1.2 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q70766
Lexile: AD370L

A 2018 Caldecott Honor book There was a cat who lived alone. Until the day a new cat came . . . And so a story of friendship begins, following the two cats through their days, months, and years until one day, the older cat has to go. And he doesn't come back. This is a poignant story, told in measured text and bold black-and-white illustrations about the act of moving on.


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