Today I read a very good book, called Island Boy, by Barbara Cooney. She's a Maine author, and my maid - or I mean, secretary - went to hear her speak once at a library here and she got a book signed by her. She was a very good book writer and a beautiful drawer of pictures. Well, not drawer like in a bureau. She drew and painted pictures. She may have kept them in her bureau, but I don't know.
Are you going to make a point?
Yes, I believe I will. This boy, Matthias Tibbetts, lived on Tibbetts Island off the coast of Maine and I thought I should read this book because I now live on an island, too.
Yes, you do, but you can take a bridge to your island and he had to go by boat.
I, Noah, know that. Anyway. Something that concerned me about this book was its lack of cats. You can see on the cover that the boy is clearly holding a bird - a seagull. Where's the cat? Why isn't he holding a cat? This just does not make sense.
And then in the pictures inside the book there are only a few cats. There is one and another one and another one. I know. I counted.
You mean three?
Yes, that's what I said.
None of them have speaking parts. Nary a purr. None of the cats are getting patted. They aren't even very large pictures of cats. You could miss them.
Okay, write this down on a sticky note. "Island Cat".
That's it. We need a nice story about Island Cat. And I want plenty of purring and patting going on and close-ups. But no seagulls or dogs. Well, maybe there can be seagulls flying. And maybe dogs if they don't get patted and their pictures aren't too big. No speaking parts though.
I'm thinking we need to start it right away.
|Hey, there's a cat on this page. Wait, no, that's me.|
Education Guide for island life in Maine p. 8 tells of the Gilley family on which this book is based.
Penguin.com About Barbara Cooney
Children's Literature Network: Barbara Cooney