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*My Cat Copies Me* by Yoon D. Kwon
My Cat Copies Me
by Yoon D. Kwon
Ages 4-8 40 pages Kane/Miller March 2007 Hardcover    

My Cat Copies Me, written and illustrated by Yoon-duck Kwon, was first published in Korea in 2005. Its target audience is readers aged four to six, probably those who love, live with and learn from cats. Kwon, from South Korea, has studied industrial design, fine brushwork painting and other forms of artwork. This is her first book.

The story centers on a young, pretty girl and her female calico cat who “copies” her. They are always together, even though the cat is, admittedly, independent, as cats are wont to be. By book’s end, the girl decides she wants to learn to copy the cat – play with new friends, not be afraid of the dark, become more independent. The cat’s actions and idiosyncrasies seem real to life, judging by my 30-plus years of living with fascinating felines.

The book is handsome, sturdily made, with beautiful, lush illustrations. With or without the slip jacket, it is lovely. The illustrations are large and bold, primarily of the girl in ethnic Korean clothing and her cute cat, with books, toys, clothing, shoes, a bed – mostly interior scenes. The type is separate from the illustrations, easily read, in a legible typeface and font size. The only drawback is that the translation may have lost something somewhere alone the line; a couple of sections don’t transition smoothly.

Kane/Miller is a small publisher specializing in multicultural literature: “open-minded books opening young minds to the world.” Children all over the world love animals, and they must grow towards independence. Believing we all need to be more savvy and aware of other cultures, the publisher currently offers six books from South Korea, ten from France, and twenty-seven from Australia, among many other countries. Kwon’s book certainly meets its mission.

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  Deborah Straw/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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