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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Cat Named Swan, by Holly Hobbie. Random House. 2017. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"Yet day by day, he found
enough food to eat.
Day by day, he managed
to elude the threats that
surrounded him.
He survived.

One morning, though,
he did not escape the
peril that came down on him."

Poor little kitten! No family, no home, no way of truly knowing how to live in such a dangerous world. Yet, he manages to survive, though not exactly thrive.  When he gets stuck in a tree, he needs help. Oops! He is saved (or is he?) by an animal control officer.

Food, companions, no danger to avoid, and safety for a little one who has known none of it.

"Boredom was better than misery."
The boredom quickly ends when a forever family scoops him up and takes him home with them.

" ... he learned that the house was his house, the yard was his yard. He learned that the people were his people and he was theirs. He belonged to them and they belonged to him."

Much loved, eager to discover both the inside and outside of his new surroundings, Swan makes the most of every perfect day ... and night.

Holly Hobbie uses pencil and watercolors to bring Swan and his two very different circumstances to glorious life for her readers. From the dull and dirty city we are transported to the joyful colors of a rural landscape. She shows first the terrors, then the joys, in realistic and winsome art. She matches the energy and emotions felt by all and we are lucky to be rapt observers of Swan's transformation.

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