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Calabash Cat and His Amazing Journey

by James Rumford

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2003
32 pages
ISBN: 0-618-22423-8

Ages 4 - 8

Author/artist James Rumford acquired a cat carved from a calabash gourd while in the Peace Corps in Chad. That gourd inspired this original story in which a curious cat is determined to find out where the world ends. Each animal he meets is certain of the answer, but each can only imagine the world to be what it knows. For the camel, the world ends where the desert ends. For the horse, the world ends where the grasslands end. It's not until an eagle invites the cat to ride upon his back that he discovers the truth of "a world without end." Rumford's ink-on-bristol board illustrations in this beautifully designed volume are patterned after the carved and wood-burned calabash gourds of Chad. The black-lined figures on sepia-toned pages are connected by a single line that changes color as the cat's journey takes him across changing terrains, ending with a rainbow that brings all the colors together as the cat sees the sweeping expanse of the world from the back of the eagle. The page decorations also include the text translated into the Arabic dialect of Chad. CCBC Categories: Picture Books for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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