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City Cat by Kate Banks

City Cat

by Kate Banks

Other authors: Lauren Castillo (Illustrator)

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This is an adorable picture book that features a family cat that secretly follows his family as they travel around Europe. It features landmarks in some of the greatest cities, such as London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Venice, and information at end of the book on each. As someone who's been to many of the cities featured, I thought the pictures were authentic and are bound to foster the love of traveling in any child. The ending was great as well. This is a book that I'd like to own someday when I have children of my own!

Sarah M. / Marathon County Public Library
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( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
A cosmopolitan cat follows a vacationing Italian family around Europe in this charming poetic picture-book, visiting eight cities, from Marseille to Barcelona, London to Berlin. In each city he sees the sights - Notre Dame in Paris, the cat boat sanctuary in Amsterdam - and experiences the local culture, before hitching a ride to his next destination. In the end he returns, along with the Italian family's whose trip he has mirrored, to his home in Rome...

The text of City Cat reads incredibly well, slipping off the tongue in poetic twists, with rhymes and almost-rhymes, and an engaging rhythm that makes the experience a pleasure. The artwork, done by Caldecott honoree Lauren Castillo, is equally engaging, capturing the eponymous feline's happy wanderlust and the beauties he witnesses to perfection. Equal parts educational - the afterword includes a bit more information about each city visited - and entertaining, this is a picture-book I would recommend to young cat lovers, to young would-be travelers, and to anyone looking for children's stories that teach a little bit of geography while also keeping young children engaged. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Mar 23, 2017 |
While a family leaves Rome on a tour of European cities, a cat shadows their tour, popping up in all the same places. Lovely because it features less common spots: Marseille, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Munich are underrepresented in picture books. There's back matter to give a little more info on the specific sites shown.

I'd dearly love a whole series of these with cats touring all the continents, because cats.

Library copy ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 16, 2016 |
Stray feline sees the sights in eight major European cities. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
A little black cat starts out in Rome and travels throughout numerous cities in several European countries. The cat manages to get from city to city by being curious and burrowing into car trunks, boats, metro trains, etc. Meanwhile, a family of four is also traveling throughout Europe and it appears that the cat is following them on their vacation.

When I heard about this book, I really liked the concept and was looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with the actual book. Banks uses beautiful poetic language to describe the cat's comings and goings, but I feel like the lack of prose means the action is bit unclear, especially for young children. This seems like the type of book you'd need to use a lot of your own words in addition to the text in order for younger kids to even understand what's going on (i.e., it's easy enough to miss that the cat is on the same path of the family; it's not always clear when the cat has entered a new city; etc.). Not that it's a bad thing to give kids extra information about a book to enrich their knowledge, but a book should be able to stand on its own for a first reading without young readers getting confused.

On the plus side, Castillo's illustrations are lovely and do a great job showing off the highlights of many big European cities. A final spread in the book shows all the places the cat visited and gives a brief contextual description about a famous site in that city and its history. (The word "cat" is also defined in the language of each European countries visited.) The inside cover also maps out the cat's journey so that kids get an understanding of the relative geography of her trip. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Apr 8, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Banksprimary authorall editionscalculated
Castillo, LaurenIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Frances, the coolest cat we know. Thank you for bringing this book to life. Love, Kate and Lauren
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374313210, Hardcover)

A plucky stray cat takes a Grand Tour in Kate Banks' story of a family on a European vacation. As the family travels from one city to the next, the cat finds its own means--by bus, boat, train, truck, and bike--to tag along on the trip, visiting historic landmarks like Buckingham Palace and the Cathedral of Notre Dame along the way. Readers will pore over the spreads to find  where City Cat is hiding in each city, and detailed backmatter explains the history behind the sites in each locale.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:41 -0400)

An easy-to-read book about a globe-trotting cat that crosses paths with a vacationing family in the great cities of Europe. Includes facts about the cities.

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