for Big Cat, Little Cat
by Elisha Cooper
A big, white cat shows the ways of the indoor world to a small, black kitten when it arrives. “Big cat, little cat.” The two bond and the black cat eventually grows bigger than the white one. “Big cat, bigger cat.” Years go by in which they eat, dream, play. “For five minutes each day, they went wild.” And then comes a day the older, white cat leaves and does not come back. “And that was hard. For everyone.” But guess what happens next? With the arrival of a small white kitten, the story begins again. “Big cat, little cat.” Although the premise isn’t original, the execution of this picture book is superb. The black-and-white line drawings are both eloquent and playful, full of believable, often humorous details of cat life and conveying a rich emotional narrative. And the symmetry is not just in the overall structure of the story but also in the repetition of specific scenes and details, so that the relationship between the big and little cat at the story’s beginning mirrors (although not exactly) the relationship between the big and little cat at the end. Highly Commended, 2018 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 3-6)
CCBC Choices 2018. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018. Used with permission.
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.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.