Sunday, November 20, 2016

Ray's Reviews: CATS!

        If you’re a cat lover and need something to lift your spirits, here’s a
quick look at a pair of books you might have missed.
        While one is brightly illustrated and the other is full of photos, each
is likely to leave you smiling.
        “Cat vs. Human Fairy Tails” by Yasmine Surovec (Andrews McMeel, $14.95)
is a cute paperback collection of fairy tales drawn in a very simplistic,
cartoonish style.
        Each story is briefly showcased, using great images of one to four panels
per page, creatively combining vivid colors and word balloons.
        Surovec, who has a large web following with her blog, adroitly retells
ten favorite fairy tales, featuring furry felines as main characters or
having them playing pivotal parts in the plot.
        “Rapunzel” alters the storyline a bit, with the bored and lonely heroine
lowering her long, braided hair only to find it full of kitties when she
beings it back up.
        Later, she gets a major surprise when a prince appears, looking for his
beloved cats. Of course, there’s a purr-fect happy ending, but that’s the
way it should be.
        Other tales include “Goldilocks”, with a kitten who prefers an empty box
over any bed choices, “Sleeping Beauty”, with unexpected results, and
“Jack and the Beanstalk”, a pretty seedy story.
        Surovec has written/illustrated numerous highly entertaining books for
feline fans, including “Cat vs. Humans”, “Poems About Cats”, “My Pet
Human” and “I See Kitty”.
        “Men with Cats” by New York photographer David Williams (Quirk Books,
$12.95) is subtitled “Intimate Portraits of Feline Friendship.”
        It offers over 140 pages of sharp color photographs living up to the
title, usually with one page devoted to the image and an opposing one
with a brief explanation of their human/feline relationship.
        Sometimes the people discuss how they acquired their cats; others talk
about their cat’s behavior or different attitudes and affections.
        Many of the cats are photographed on laps or beds, a few are on top of
shoulders or furniture.
        Cats are everywhere, in many different colors and types - inside,
outside, near fireplaces and outdoors.
        The exceptionally talented photographer began his efforts on this book in
2009; he’d be smart to work on a companion volume: “Women with Cats.”

        Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed books
regularly since 1987. He has two cats, Parker and Callie.

Find this book and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on November 20, 2016.

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