The Cat Who Walked Across France

by Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben

When the old woman dies, her cat is shipped north, away from the sea and the home... read more

When the old woman dies, her cat is shipped north, away from the sea and the home he knew. But there is no one and nothing there for him. So the cat leaves, embarking on a journey that eventually takes him back to “the stone house by the edge of the sea.” That phrase is the repeated refrain in this quiet, masterful picture book that follows the cat’s pointed wanderings. He travels through the countryside, small towns, and cities full of dizzying traffic. Kate Banks’s rich, evocative language and skillful pacing reflect the cat’s bursts of activity and also his moments of quiet repose, when the smells and sounds and sea breezes that were once familiar come back to him in memory and propel him on again. Georg Hallensleben’s textured, color-saturated paintings are a lovely extension of the narrative. He alters the size and placement of the solitary feline traveler from scene to scene to further suggest feelings such as loneliness, vulnerability, independence, or contentment. (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005

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