Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Cat of a Different Color (MG)

A Cat of a Different Color. Steven Bauer. Illustrated by Tim Raglin. 2000. Random House. 200 pages.

In a village near a silver lake, at the bottom of a range of jagged mountains, three kittens were born in the same litter. Two of them were common enough. They had wide, astonished, watery blue eyes, and gray coats stippled with black, and paws as white as if they'd been dipped in heavy cream, and when the kittens were ten weeks old, those villagers who wanted a pet came round to the house where the kittens had been born and these two were quickly chosen.
Their names were Flumadiddle and Gigamaree, and until they grew to be a year old, they looked so very much alike that sometimes Mr. Mayapple, the man who chose poor Gigamaree, would call, "There you are, you worthless welp!" when he saw Flumadiddle. And sometimes Miss Gagney, who fussed and fiddled over Flumadiddle's feelings, for it was her brother Gigamaree who stalked the streets, while Flumadiddle was a close-to-the-fireside cat, and she knew it was Gigamaree whom Miss Gagney had seen. 
But from the start no one mistook the third cat for anyone but himself. He had fur that seemed to shift in hue in the slightest breeze--fur the color of burning leaves, then fur the color of smoke. His eyes were the palest amber, and the hair on his belly was as whorled as the shapes the villagers' breath made on winter mornings. When he was still a tiny kitten, he'd fallen from a footstool into a large bucket of water, and rather than panicking, he'd seemed quite content to be soaked clear through--which was very odd, for most cats hate even the thought of getting wet. The villagers called him the-cat-who-loves-water, or, in the dialect of that part of the country, Ulwazzer, and because he was so strange, so unlike any cat that anyone had ever seen before, no one would take him home. He was preternaturally calm, they said, and probably possessed, and who wanted a cat who might raise the hair on your neck by yowling in the dark, who might turn on you when least expected, or leap on your face in the night?

I loved this one. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. It may not be an 'important' book, an 'issue' book, but oh the joy this one brought me!!! It was so charming, so delightful, so funny. It was just the right amount of description too.

A Cat of a Different Color is set in the village of Felicity-by-the-Lake. It is the story of what happens when the town foolishly elects the wrong leader for the job of town mayor. Instead of the most qualified man getting the job, they elect the one who flatters them the most and gives away the tastiest treats. The new mayor is Jeremiah Hoytie. And he's got a wife, Prucilla, and a son, Sam. The couple also has a young distant relation staying with them, Daria Smart. It doesn't take him long for him to start making proclamations and decrees, changing all the rules and lying about it. Some of these proclamations are just over-the-top silly. I don't think I'll ever, ever forget this one:
Proclamation the Fourth: From this day forward, anything which does not belong to you belongs to Prucilla and Jeremiah Hoytie. (116)
The people are not happy about the changes, the new rules, but they're scared to protest, perhaps with good reason. (Who wants to be carried upside down through the town and made to pay a fine?) Fortunately for the town, Ulwazzer, the cat, returns from his roaming...and with a little (human) help is able to save the day...

Read A Cat of a Different Color
  • If you love cats
  • If you love animal fantasies
  • If you love fantasy novels for children
  • If you like funny books (and cats)

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Susan 10:24 AM  

I have to get this one for my daughter! She loves cats (we have two of them)....in fact all small creatures. This one though I think she'd like, since one of our cats steals her stuffed toys and drags them around the house. :-)

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP