Cat in the Night
Children will experience the world through a cat’s eyes, ears, nose, whiskers, and feet as he travels the neighborhood, meeting up with other creatures of the night.
“Cat in the Night is the real deal. This is a great little book.”—John Bradshaw, bestselling author of Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet.
PreS-Gr 2—”Rusty the cat is just waking up as his person, a little girl named Gwen, is falling asleep. He slips out an open window. “There he smells night-blooming jasmine, an overflowing garbage can, and the scents of familiar neighborhood animals. But tonight, something is…different. It is the scent of an unknown cat.” Rusty is on the case! During his search, he meets a skunk, raccoons, a mouse who turns into a midnight snack, and an opossum. Observant readers will delight in spotting the “intruder” in a number of scenes, which builds suspense and anticipation. Brunet’s gorgeous, full-spread illustrations perfectly set the moonlit tone. The depictions of cats and other animals are realistic, with lots of details for readers to pore over and discover. The two felines finally meet, and the inevitable tussle ensues, with Rusty managing to successfully chase off the culprit. The sun is just coming up when we see Rusty making his way back home for a quick bite to eat before curling up in bed with Gwen again—the story satisfyingly comes full circle. This tale will speak to children’s imaginings of pets or toys having another life while they sleep. VERDICT A quiet and suspenseful nighttime adventure that will appeal to cat lovers.”—School Library Journal
“This book, beautifully illustrated by Joshua Brunet, is a wonderful story. Rusty, Gwen’s sweet docile cat, goes exploring at night while Gwen is asleep. She has no idea that Rusty sneaks out and explores the neighborhood―meeting raccoons and opossums, and catching mice. He even protects the house from other cat intruders. Even though this is a suspenseful and enjoyable narrative, children will also learn about cat behavior. It would be a great read-aloud for any child who loves animals or an educational read for the elementary science classroom.”—School Library Connection Reviews
“A cat relies on his senses during a nocturnal foray. As a little black girl falls asleep, Rusty, her cat, wakes up, slips out the window, and instantly smells an intruding cat. Intent on the other feline, Rusty avoids a skunk and leaps onto the backyard fence. Leaving his scent as he “tiptoes along its ledge like a tightrope walker in a circus,” Rusty tracks the cat’s scent into the neighbor’s yard, where two raccoons are playing. Temporarily diverted by a high-pitched squeak and quick mouse hunt, Rusty watches an opossum disappear into the bushes. Finally, a scratching sound lures Rusty onto the garage roof, where he confronts the alien cat. A feisty feline fight with hissing and screeching ensues, then Rusty chases the intruder across the street. Homeward bound as dawn breaks, battle-weary Rusty finishes his kibble and crawls into bed as the little girl wakes up, unaware he’s been on the prowl. Realistic illustrations created with acrylic, oil, and colored pencil capture the drama of Rusty’s nighttime adventures. His taffy-and-white fur jumps out against the dark shapes and shadows of the backyard, highlighting his activities. Double-page close-ups and unusual perspectives invite a cat’s-eye view. A “More About Cats” page reinforces the textual and visual focus on feline senses. Intriguing peek into the secret life of cats.”— Kirkus Reviews
“Deftly written by Madeleine Dunphy and charmingly illustrated by Joshua S. Brunet, “Cat in the Night” is an impressively entertaining story about a little girl falls asleep just as her cat wakes up. Children ages 5 to 9 who have ever wondered what their cat does at night will experience the night-time world through the cat’s eyes, ears, nose, whiskers, and feet as he travels the neighborhood, meeting up with other denizens of the night. Thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ and wonderfully entertaining from first page to last, “Cat in the Night” is very highly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.”— Midwest Book Review
“As Gwen sleeps soundly, her curious cat, Rusty, stalks the neighborhood using all of his feline senses to explore, in Madeleine Dunphy’s “Cat in the Night.” Bright stars and flashing eyes flicker across the deep blues and purples of Joshua S. Brunet’s nighttime illustrations, creating a hushed, peaceful tone for Rusty’s sniffing, slinking, stalking, and searching. Children are encouraged to look out for all the critters Rusty encounters on his way as well as instances of his heightened use of hearing, vision, touch, balance, and smell, all integral cat behavior, whether snuggling with a friendly little human or getting ready to pounce on a backyard predator.”— Foreword Reviews
Madeleine Dunphy has studied and visited many of the world’s ecosystems, and was inspired to write books about our world’s great diversity of life. Her books have been published by Hyperion Books for Children, Millbrook Press, and her own publishing company, Web of Life Children’s Books—a publishing company devoted to publishing picture books about the environment. Madeleine is also a teacher, activist and mother. She lives in Oakland, California. For more information about Madeleine, her books, and her school presentations visit www.mdunphy.com.
Joshua S. Brunet
Joshua S. Brunet has been a freelance illustrator for more than 15 years and has worked for a variety of magazines and children’s book publishers. He lives with his wife and four children in Shawnee, Oklahoma, where he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Oklahoma Baptist University. For more information about Josh and his art, visit libbyford.com/brunetgallery.