The castle of the cats

Front Cover
Holiday House, 2004 - Juvenile Fiction - 32 pages
1 Review
A father sets his three sons three tasks to determine which one should inherit the family farm: to bring back "the most beautiful wedding kerchief," wedding dress, and bride. The youngest brother, Ivan, would prefer to play with his leather ball, but he is encouraged to at least try. Each time, the family horse takes him to a magnificent palace populated entirely by elegantly attired cats. The felines are enamored of the gifts he presents'┐┐first the leather ball, then some catnip leaves, and finally a wooden ring that he offers to their queen. Ivan always receives a present in return, including the queen herself in human form as a bride, enabling him to trump his brothers and win the farm. Ivan prefers an alternative "happily ever after," however, and returns instead to the castle with his feline bride and becomes a cat. A note explains that although the tale is Latvian, the author and illustrator have moved the setting to the Ukraine, as evidenced both by the flavor of the language and specifics in the artwork. Kimmel has a true storyteller's voice and keeps the action moving at an energetic pace without sacrificing images or details.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - laurakurtz - LibraryThing

This is a very interesting retelling of a classic folktale by Portland's Eric Kimmel. In the tale, there are three sons who must compete over who will win the family farm. They must get the best cloth ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Based on a Latvian tale, but set in Ukraine, Kimmel's retelling is the story in which the youngest son wins the quest but gives up the prize his two brothers covet. Never very interested in entering ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Eric Kimmel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1946. He received a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Lafayette College. He also has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Illinois. He was an elementary school teacher and college professor before becoming a full-time writer. He has published over fifty titles, many of which have won state and national awards. His titles "Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins" won the Caldecott Honor Medal, "The Chanukkah Guest" and "Gershon's Monster" won the Sydney Taylor Picture Book Award and "Anansi and the Talking Melon" won the Utah Children's Choice Award. Kimmel travels nationally and internationally visiting schools and talking about his books and telling stories.

This heartwarming story was beautifully illustrated by Katya Krenina, whose stylized, contemporary illustrations have been lavishly praised by reviewers and heralded as "stunning" by the New York Times Book Review. Publishers Weekly has compared her style to that of Chagall, for its intuitive, dreamlike quality.

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