Cat, What Is That? by Tony Johnston

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In all the animal kingdom, it is the cats' regal grace, subtle sophistication, and great depth of personality that put them in a league entirely their own. Just why are cats so special?

It is the Peek.
It is the Poke.
It is the Dance
on feet of smoke.

It is the Slink.
It is the Sneak
on velvet toes
stalking the Squeak.

Explore the many facets of our feline friends with Tony Johnston's lyrical poetry and award winner Wendell Minor's lush, exquisite paintings. Here is an insider's view of a cat's life for cat lovers of all ages.


About Tony Johnston

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Tony Johnston was born January 30, 1942, in Los Angeles, CA. After attending Stanford University where she earned a B.A. in History and an M.A in Education, she became a fourth-grade teacher. She has written over seventy books for children. Her titles include Amber on the Mountain, the Cowboy and the Black-Eyed Pea, Day of the Dead, the Ghost of Nicholas Greebe, the Sparky and Eddie series, and the Adventures of Mole and Troll. Her first adult novel was Any Small Goodness. Her works have earned her several awards including a Children's Choice Award for Four Scary Stories and the Beatty Award in 2002 for Any Small Goodness. Wendell Minor is the award-winning illustrator of dozens of picture books, including his own "Yankee Doodle America", Robert Burleigh's "Into the Woods", and "Reaching for the Moon", written by Buzz Aldrin. Mr. Minor's work can be found in the permanent collections of such institutions as the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Library of Congress. He lives with his wife, Florence, in Washington, Connecticut. Visit Wendell Minor at
Published August 7, 2001 by HarperColl. 32 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Education & Reference. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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/ It is the Roar: / In a snowstorm / it is the Snore,” accompanied by an almost life-sized, touchable orange cat, sprawled on its back on a couch, toes curled and tail curved, eyes closed, smiling, while an imperturbable snow cat outside the window stares straight ahead through the falling snow.

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Publishers Weekly

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in and of itself is abstract, but the illustration adds to the confusion: a cat on a dock observes the water, as if a fish has just disappeared, thus shifting the pronoun away from the cat to the object the cat observes.

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