Friday 5 November 2010

The Cat's Pajamas

The Cat’s Pajamas by Wallace Edwards (hardie grant Egmont)
HB RRP $24.95
ISBN 9781921690730
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Presenting another collectible work of art that will sharpen the reader’s intake of breath from the sheer beauty of the work. The jacket is an exact replica of the inside cover. A cat sits on a velvet couch dressed in attire fit for a queen/king with painted nails and a decorative throw rug covering it. The end pages are illustrated in an identical cat end-to-end, in a milk chocolate brown.

Acclaimed author-illustrator Wallace Edwards is well known for his animal portraits and these will have you humming as will the idioms attached to each of the twenty-six framed tableaus, and the challenge of finding the cat in each picture. (There was one I couldn't discover, no matter how hard I looked!)

Each idiom has an identifying tableau with the animal mentioned literally acting the way described in the text. This creates an entertaining combination of illustration and words. The colours are striking: rich reds, burgundy, various shades of greens and browns, lots of gold and yellow, varying blues and other softer shades of all the above and more. The animals include bears, birds of all kinds, mice, a lion, rhinoceros and underwater creatures; roosters, rabbits, a gingerbread house, a fox, giraffe, and pig, a crab, camel, ducks rowing, and the list goes on.

This extraordinary and beautiful book is suitable for teaching children their idioms with an accompanying visual reinforcement. The learning will stay in their mind because of its hilarious content. It’s also for anyone who appreciates fine art and the effort put into its presentation.

Other books by this award-winning author-illustrator are listed on the back flap. The jacket has been designed by Karen Powers.

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