Book Review, Picture Books

A Gallery of Cats by Ruth Brown

A Gallery of Cats is page after page of gorgeous cats. A young boy called Tom wanders off in the art gallery and finds himself in the most wonderful exhibit. My own son, also Tom, adores cats and was completely taken in by this very special book!

Each page finds Tom looking at a painting of a cat and reading the description on the card on the wall. The cat’s name, breed and information match a famous artist while the painting reflects their well-known style. “Jackson” is an American Wirehair named for Jackson Pollock. He is covered with splattered paint in that fantastic Pollock technique. Jackson joins Tom in the gallery as they travel from painting to painting gathering more recognisable cats along the way.

There is so much more to this book than first meets the eye. It would be a lovely introduction to artists and their paintings. Looking at the actual paintings alongside this story would allow children to make connections and comparisons. Researching the artists themselves would give children a chance to find out if they had similar personalities to the cats in the book.

My children found an emotional connection with the book right away. They loved all of the cats but each had a definite favourite. Tom loves Jackson because he isn’t a scaredy cat. Charlie loves Henri because he is so little and cute. Lucy loves Piet because he was abandoned and she wants to look after him. Earlier this year, Charlie studied Henri Matisse at school and learned that he loved cats. She wonders if all of the authors featured in this book love cats and what their connection is to them. We will be able to spend so much time enjoying this book together. We have questions to answer and wonderful paintings to discover. Thank you to Scallywag Press for this gorgeous book!

My children wrote their own information cards for our cats – George & Gus – and wonder which paintings they could join.

George

Handsome and brave

Defends the house from other cats

Likes to talk and tell us about

all of his adventures

Gus

Fuzzy and cuddly

Sits and snuggles all day long

Purrs like a motorcycle

Loves his food


Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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