The greatest illustration in the history of KidLit? (review of Rich Cat, Poor Cat)


Well, you know I’m prone to hyperbole, but this page from “Rich Cat, Poor Cat” by Bernard Weber is just amazing. (In fact this is just a detail, the full page offers an amazing  composition.)

So let’s at least call it a nominee for the best single illustration of all time.

It contrasts the life of Scat the street cat with the pampered rich kitty on the opposite page who has her own special chair with doilies for crying out loud. Meanwhile we see the urban scene above witht he words … “There isn’t anything very special in Scat’s life.”

That is in fact the point of much of the book, alternating shots of blissful rich cats and poor, lonely Scat.


Some cats get their backs scratched… “Scat would like this, too” but the best he can do is rub up against a bus stop sign!

We love this book. It’s nice to read aloud, has tons of great pictures and lots of pathetic of details like the bus stop sign that would put Dickens to shame….

I hate to spoil anything for anybody, but let’s just say that, like Dickens, Weber knows how to build up the misery so that the ending is all the more beautiful.

One Response

  1. I found this book by serendipity in Half-Price Books 2 years ago. I then hunted around for copies for all of my friends. Why isn’t this book in print? Why? I’d like to share it for storytimes, but I don’t want the parents to get mad at me when they find out their libraries don’t carry it.

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