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a-big-sur2-12-081Abigail is a third grader from Los Angeles who absolutely loves to read, and often is the last one at the dinner table because of a book she can’t put down. She also is a pianist and is busy preparing her recital pieces for June. When she is not reading or playing piano, Abigail can frequently be found in the pool, or planning her next move in a chess game, or enjoying time with her family and friends. She also can do a perfect split.

curious-cats1I was instantly amused while reading A Curious Collection of Cats by Betsy Franco from Tricycle Press. The author combines simple poetry and thoughts into a gathering of cat pieces that are humorous, clever and creative. Often, the words overlay the pictures as part of the poem’s message. I think I could even put some music to her poems. They seem to have rhythm and bounce, and remind me of the playfulness of cats, and of how impatient I am with my parents to give me the pleasure of a cat as pet. The inventive illustrations by Michael Wertz involve collages of bold colored shapes that seem to practically jump out of the page.

I wonder how Betsy has come up with so many original ideas for her cat poems. On the book jacket, Betsy herself credits her cat with inspiring her writing. Hear that, Mom and Dad?

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