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My Cat Isis

by Catherine Austen
illustrated by Virginie Egger

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reviews: 2
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cats, pets, mythical
list price: $18.95
published: 2011
publisher: Kids Can Press
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

My Cat Isis

Who has never marvelled at the affinity between a goddess and a feline friend? My Cat Isis takes a loving look at the similarities and differences between an ancient Egyptian divinity and a boy’s cat. The story is a back and forth dialogue between mythology and the main character’s observations about his pet.

Egger’s artwork cleverly reflects this style. She combines paperand photo-collage with painting and pen-and-ink illustration, furthering the multi-facetted approach.

There is also a subtle humour in both the text and artwork. In one spread, Isis (the deity) does not chase birds at the feeder like her animal counterpart, but rather she “protects the seeds.” The goddess and her feline namesake cautiously regard each other across pages, a humorous visual reflection of the relationship between them.

The parallelism, however, is occasionally forced and the distinct differentiation between the two different styles of language may pose some difficulty for younger audiences. “My Isis bosses everyone around, especially the dog,” has a simplicity and a tone younger children would enjoy but, when it is juxtaposed with “At the height of her popularity, Isis was adored as the supreme protector of the ancient world,” parts of the book may be less accessible.

However, Austen very aptly conveys both information about Egyptian mythology and a depiction of the simple but complete relationship between the boy and his pet. As he says, “I love my Isis because she is my cat.”

This book would be a particularly useful classroom resource for ancient civilizations units and is recommended for children aged five to eight.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2011. Volume 34 No. 2.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

My Cat Isis

This dazzling work of collage illustrations is both an homage to a beloved feline and a journey into the realm of Ancient Egyptian mythology. Through a series of comparisons between his cat and its Egyptian goddess namesake, a boy reveals interesting similarities and differences. An ideal book for both pet lovers and fans of ancient history.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.

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  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
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Striking collage illustrations bring to life a boy's comparisons of his beloved cat to Isis, goddess of Egyptian myth.

The goddess Isis was the revered daughter of the earth and sky. The cat Isis is a family pet who is just as special.

This dazzling work of paper- and photo-collage, painting and pen-and-ink illustration is both an homage to a beloved feline and a journey into the realm of Ancient Egyptian myth and the goddess Isis. Through a series of lighthearted comparisons between his cat and its goddess namesake, the boy narrator reveals both similarities and differences between the two worlds. An ideal book for pet lovers and lovers of ancient history alike!

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Editorial Review

Kids intrigued by ancient Egypt and cats will appreciate the narrator's evident love for both topics.

— Booklist
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Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

About the Authors

Catherine Austen

Catherine Austen worked in the conservation movement before becoming a freelance writer. She lives in Quebec with her husband, Geoff, and their children.Her novels with Orca include Walking Backward and All Good Children. For more information, visit www.catherineausten.com.
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Virginie Egger

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