I love a good cat story, and by that I mean a story in which a cat is behaving (although not necessarily always realistically illustrated) like a real cat, and Tiptop Cat by C. Roger Mader is definitely that!
Tiptop Cat begins, quite simply, "Of all the gifts she got that day, the best on was the cat." Right away, we know that this story is about the cat - people are irrelevant, or at best, peripheral, and this is true to the nature of cats and Mader's book. Mader moves Tiptop's story along with multi-paneled pages that bring to life the cat's exploration of his habitat and what happens when a "little jungle beast" is awakened within him.
Mader, who lives in Normandy, spent time in Paris taking reference photographs from the top of landmarks like the Centre Georges Pompidou (Beaubourg), the Tour Montparnasse, and the Institut du Monde Arabe in preparation for the pastel paintings that became Tiptop Cat. Along with the refreshingly realistic portrayal of a cat, the Parisian setting adds a memorable layer to the story.
Tiptop makes a quick study of his new habitat, finding his favorite spot at the very spot that earns him his name. When following his feral instincts leads to a fall from a balcony, Tiptop's confidence is shaken. After months of hiding under beds and staying indoors, Tiptop's inner beast is awoken again and, after giving chase, he regains his perch, his place in the world. Mader ends Tiptop Cat on a lovely note, with both text and illustration, insuring that this is a cat story little listeners will remember long after they are grown.
Don't miss Mader's other book, Lost Cat!
A few of my favorite books featuring
cats being cats...
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Hondo & Fabian by Peter McCarty
Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner
There are No Cats In This Book & There Are Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwarz
Six Dinner Sid & Captain Cat by Inga Moore
These cats act like cats, even if they do have wings . . .
Source: Review Copy