The White Cat and the Monk by Jo Ellen Bogart

Groundwood Logos Spine

The White Cat and the Monk by Jo Ellen Bogart, illustrated by Sydney Smith (InfoSoup)

A white cat named Pangur and a monk live together. At night, by candlelight the two work side by side. The monk quietly studies his books. The cat hunts mice along the walls, examining a mouse hole. The two do not disturb one another. At the end of the night, as day comes, they have both found what they were seeking. One searching for the joy of an answer to a puzzle and the other for the satisfaction of a successful hunt.

This picture book is a retelling of a classic Old Irish poem “Pangur Bán.” It is a tale that is contemplative and quiet. It offers space to simply be, a world of solitude and study, and also one that is filled with richness of the most simple forms. Bogart captures the power of a man’s simple monastic life accompanied by an animal companion. In particular, it is the interplay of their evening activities that demonstrate the impact of the natural world on even the quietest of evenings.

Smith’s illustrations evoke a period of time that is filled with illuminated texts, thick stone monastery walls and the light of several candles. They are done with rich blacks and subtle colors, the light playing across the page as the cat seeks dark corners.

A beautiful look at the power of contemplation, mindfulness and cats. Appropriate for ages 5-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

This Week’s Tweets, Pins & Tumbls

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:



Baby Books – Fowl Language Comics

Dinosaurs At Bedtime  –

Faith Erin Hicks Interview for ‘The Nameless City’ – GeekDad

The Inside Story of Rudyard Kipling and ‘The Jungle Book’

‘It Takes A Lot Of Bravery To Be Kind,’ Says Kids’ Author Kate DiCamillo

James Cross Giblin, 82, Wide-Ranging Author of Books for Children, Dies

The masses have spoken and they want BLOOD! A review of Samurai Rising. Beheadings galore!

Miss Peregrine author returns with illustrated collection of fairytales

My Republica – Exploring children’s literature in Nepal

Where Were These Kids Field Guides When I Was a Kid? – GeekDad

With ‘Thunder Boy Jr.,’ Sherman Alexie hopes to help correct a problem

C.S. Lewis:


Brown County to again consider library changes

Cat-Owning, Knit-Loving, ‘Hopelessly Sterotypical’ Librarian Is A ‘Jeopardy’ Badass

Fewer Americans Are Visiting Local Libraries—and Technology Isn’t to Blame

Madison Public Library wins nation’s highest library and museum honor for community service

Wisconsin’s Oldest Library Founded This Week In 1836 | Wisconsin Public Radio

RT : Libraries Need Diverse Books » Public Libraries Online

re-pinned by:


Catching Up With Comedian Jeffery Self On His New Young Adult Novel ‘Drag Teen’

Kids Can Press to Launch Teen Imprint

Naming Super-Man – Gene Luen Yang on Kenan Kong, China’s new hero –

Why Jane Eyre is most definitely a YA novel