An unforgettable tour of France
The cat and the old woman have lived happily together for many years in the stone house by the sea. But when the old woman dies, the cat is packed up with her belongings and sent north to the village where she was born. Soon he is forgotten. He walks the streets aimlessly until, spurred by memories and a longing to return to the place he knows and loves, the cat embarks on a journey to find the home he was taken away from.
In lyrical prose and breathtaking images, Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben take the reader on a journey across the Norman countryside, past ancient ruins, through bustling cities, to the sparkling ports of the Mediterranean Sea and a place the cat can call home.
Condense The Incredible Journey to its purest essence then add the most exquisite, vividly painted illustrations, and there you have The Cat Who Walked Across France.
A cat lives contentedly for many years in a seaside village, until his old mistress dies and he is shipped off to another town far away. Lonely and ignored, the gray kitty sets off on an odyssey, lured by memories of “the tangy smell of lemons ripening on a branch under a window at the stone house by the edge of the sea,” and driven by “the taste of the salty air that blew off the water and coated the bench behind the stone house by the edge of the sea.” Returning finally to his home seaport, the paw-sore old cat finds the door to his stone house still open and inviting. Readers will be pleased (and not surprised) to learn that the new residents welcome the brave and determined fellow with open arms and dishes of food.
Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben, who have teamed up on several gorgeous and award-winning picture books, including Close Your Eyes, are a creative match made in heaven. Lovely! (Ages 5 and older) –Emilie Coulter