The Cat With the Coloured Tail by Gillian Mears, illustrated by Dinalie Dabarera (Walker Books)
HC RRP $19.95
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis
Gillian Mears’ first book for children is illustrated fiction with delicate themes connected to the beauty in all things, kindness, hope and compassion. These emotions flow from the relationship between Mr Hooper, owner of the moon creams ice-cream truck, and his magical cat. The two can communicate in a non-verbal way. They see coloured heart shapes everywhere they look. These are symbols of hope.
The tiny grey cat with the tail that changes colour is the compass that points the direction to lonely and sad people. The companions’ mission in life is to bring them joy with the cat’s presence initiating change, followed by their unusual and lovingly designed ice creams.
But their mission is challenged when the cat is troubled by visions and feelings of a black heart. Their journey of joy is threatened and they set out to discover what is causing the blackness.
Aimed at the 8+ year age groups, this beautifully presented book combines prose interspersed throughout with lyrical poetry. It will surely be used to generate discussions on kindness and hope in our world. Its stunning illustrations created with pencil are striking and unique in style. They exude the calm felt by the lonely in the cat’s presence.