It’s quite possible that this book is the most original story in children’s literature- long past and present. With stunningly beautiful illustrations and the whimsicality in the text, it’s the most pleasure I’ve ever had in an overall reading experience. Even if you aren’t curious about children’s literature, you must see and read this book to understand the quality that can be achieved in this genre- whether you are a child or an adult child.
Based originally on an old Latvian folk tale, the artist and writer transformed the fantastic old tale into a plausible delight, with humor and even a few morals which are embedded into its richly woven tapestry of words and images. When I corresponded with the artist, Katya Krenina, back in August of this year she told me that she used mixed media to make the book as authentic as possible using textiles of the era and grew her own catnip for use in her collage. She states in the blurb, “The tale is in Latvia, but my heart is in the Ukraine.” Some changes according to this unsurprising nationalism just add more texture to an already rich tradition in her visual art. Eric Kimmel’s English prose adds another dimension to the story and makes the art come alive. The basis of the tale was gleaned from a book published in the Soviet Union titled, “Tales from the Amber Sea.” Eric chose the story, “The Palace of the Cats” and transformed it into a feline-friendly story.
Castle of the Cats is an entrancing voyage into another dimension for your child and yourself! I won’t divulge the story but I urge you to discover this beautiful book yourself.
Four paws up !
The Castle Lady
will meow her way into your heart !