By: Ann Redisch Stampler
Illustrated by: Francesca Carabelli
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: January 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2013
Ben Yehuda street was full of cats. Cats, cats, everywhere! There where white ones, gray ones, and even ones with polka dots, “free cats, fat cats, living-on-the-sidewalk cats.” The only cats that belonged to anyone had collars on and Ben Yehuda street didn’t have many of them. Mr. Modiano, who owned the Tel Aviv Fish Palace, stood in the doorframe of his store. He’d been working and had his little apron on. Mr. Modiano waved his hand as he “shooed cats from his doorway.” They simply smiled at him, for no matter, Ben Yuhuda street was theirs. Mr. Modiano hated cats. Shoo, shoo!
Mr. Modiano did like Mrs. Spiegel and brought fish to her every night. She had Ketzie, a little grey cat with a pink collar. “This fish is fit for a queen,” he declared, “not for cats.” Mr. Modiano hated cats. Shoo, shoo! She’d always invite him in for tea, but “Lo, lo, lo,” he would not go in. Of course as soon as Mr. Modiano went away, Mrs. Spiegel would give Ketzie and her friend, a big white cat, Gatito, some of that fish. Ketzie was a special help to Mrs. Spiegel and did all kinds of things to keep her company, but one day she did not come home. When she tried to tell Mr. Modiano, he didn’t seem to care. Mr. Modiano hated cats. What was Mrs. Spiegel and Gatito going to do it Ketzie didn’t come home?
This is a charming tale of the Ben Yehuda Street cats and Mr. Modiano, the cat hater. Mr. Modiano, an old curmudgeon, just couldn’t see why anyone would like a cat, let alone love them. Mrs. Spiegel, on the other hand, couldn’t see why anyone would hate them. This is most certainly a tale for young cat lovers, who will not only enjoy the tale, but will be entranced by the artwork and all the cats who dance their way through the pages of this book. The tale, which has a delightful twist at the end, will please both young and old alike. If you have a little one who loves animals, especially cats, this is one story that you’ll be reading with them time and time again!
Quill says: This is a charming book of cats that your little one will love, especially when they watch them try to win over the cat hater, Mr. Modiano!