Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been? (CAN, JP, US, INT)
Written by: Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by: Rae Maté
Published by: Simply Read Books
Published on: May 1, 2011
This year there are so many amazing picture books nominated for the Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards. Usually they are limited to the nominees for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, but this year there are picture books nominated for the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction, Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse (French children's literature award), and even the main award, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. It's so exciting that picture books are holding their own! I like to think of these as the best of the best of Canadian picture books. Therefore, this year I am attempting to review all the English language picture books nominated for the CCBC Awards before the award ceremony in the autumn. I have already reviewed Loon, the gorgeous nonfiction picture book nominated for the Norma Fleck Award.
Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been? is a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award.
Dan Bar-el takes the familiar nursery rhyme about the pussycat and extends it far beyond Buckingham Palace. A girl is entertained by the pet she loves, who re-enacts his travels around the world. The kitty uses rhyme to tell her about the people and animals he encountered in Northern Africa, Europe, and the far north. He doesn't hide his emotions either, and both the girl and the reader understand he has experienced loneliness and almost lost his confidence before coming back.
The retro-style illustrations and the updating of the classic nursery rhyme really appeals to my sense of nostalgia. My kids, however, enjoyed the rhymes and the new and interesting places. Overall, a great read-aloud book that won't bore parents or kids/
This is the fifth book I have reviewed for the Sixth Canadian Book Challenge.