Where's that Cat?
age group: 
3+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Picture book, fiction

With an innocuous title of ‘Where’s That Cat?’, and a picture of an equally innocuous orange cat looking out of the cover, you are pretty much amazed at this gem of a picture book - sparse yet appealing text with expressive yet humourous illustrations.

What surprises you, however, of this seemingly simple tale is the meticulous detailing on every page. If Manjula’s choice of words and narrative style are spot on, then her illustrations are even more so. She recreates a typical South Indian milieu with such conviction that it’s almost as if you are walking down the street with Minnie. The characters are authentic – from the parrot lady, the auto driver, the aged couple, the school girls, the vegetable seller, down to the lady in a nightdress buying vegetables or the cow happily munching the ‘Vote For’ poster! Manjula also takes care to present a diversity of people seldom seen in other children’s tales, and does it without drawing any overt attention to it.

Don’t miss the little background story of the cat’s own silent adventure with the crow, hovering just past Minnie’s vision.

‘Where’s That Cat?’ is a delight for both the child and the parent, coming into its full potential when read out loud.

 This book is also available in: Hindi, Marathi, Gujrati, Bangla, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada.

Reviewed by Praveena Shivram