Someday When My Cat Can Talk
by Caroline Lazo; illustrated by Kyrsten Booker
Schwartz and Wade
reviewed by Kelly Herold
Cats have fascinated humans for thousands of years. Their enigmatic smiles, their tendency to snub their humans for any minor slight, their expressions of deep knowledge and understanding. What is he thinking? is something a cat owner often considers.
The little girl hero of Caroline Lazo's Someday When My Cat Can Talk has some ideas about her cat's inner intellectual life. Her cat, she thinks, has a tale to tell about a trip abroad: "He'll tell me how he hopped a ship/and where he stowed away./He'll cheer the wind that blew his fur/as he sailed beyond the bay."
The little girl's cat travels all about Europe--from England to France to Spain and Italy. And Lazo's rhyming text conveys a sense of fun and humor throughout the tale. Take this stanza, for example:
He'll speak fondly of the snail he met
while camping out near Cannes.
And he'll whisper why she's hiding
from the chef at Cafe Sands.
The cat comes home to the little girl, who imagines he'll tell her stories about his European travels. But the cat, alas, is a cat in the end and the little girl and the reader is left to guess about his adventures: My cat will tell me all these things/when he talks to me someday./Until then, when the sun goes down,/he always sneaks away.
Kyrsten Brooker's paintings--in a warm palette of dark greens, reds, blues, and browns--merge an impressionist style (a la Cezanne, in this case) with touches of collage. Their quirky, but approachable, style works beautifully with Lazo's rhyming text.
Pack your bags! Let's follow that cat this Poetry Friday.