Monday, September 16, 2013

Backstage Cat, by Harriet Ziefert (illustrated by Jenni Desmond)

Backstage Cat
Author: Harriet Ziefert
Illustrator: Jenni Desmond
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
Source: Edelweiss
View on Amazon

My daughter Magda is in love with this book. She's already asked me to read it to her a half dozen times. It's the story of a cat whose owner is a Broadway actress, so the cat spends most of its days backstage at the theatre. Except of course for the day it finds itself right on stage!

This book reminded me a lot of Rifka Takes a Bow, which I've previously reviewed. I liked Rifka better because I think it did a better job of showing the details of a backstage production, and it was more specific with the details. I would have liked this one more if it had been describing a specific theatre or a specific play (if it was I couldn't figure it out).

This is especially true when the various stage crew are trying to coax the cat down from its perch among the prop trees and the leading lady comes out to sing her cat down. The song she sings is long and difficult to read aloud, but I was not able to sing it because I couldn't figure out what song it was (if it was a real song). I would have appreciated an information page at the end with more details about the song and theatre depicted in the book.

Having said that, my three-year-old liked this book more than Rifka Takes a Bow (which she also likes) because, well, this one has a cat. And also if you look carefully you can see that one of the female characters in the book may be pregnant, a detail which delighted my daughter.


Rifka Takes a Bow
Cat Comes Too
Dylan's Day

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