Cat and Rat by Ed Young
The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac (An Owlet Book)

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"In this intriguing picture book, Caldecott Medalist Young ... retells a Chinese folktale about the origins of the zodiac.... Complex and well-told, the story will hold the reader’s interest." --Publishers Weekly

About Ed Young

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Ed Young was born in China and spent his childhood in Shanghai. The illustrator of many books for children, he has received numerous awards, including a Caldecott Honor. Ed Young lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
Published September 15, 1995 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 32 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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According to the notes at the beginning of the book, when the Chinese calendar was created, the animals ran a race, and the 12 who came in first had a year named after them.

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Publishers Weekly

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How the other animals cross the finish line and how Cat arrives too late to be included in the zodiac explains not only the character of each of the zodiac signs but cleverly suggests how the enmity between cats and rats began.

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