On little cat feet

October 21st, 2008

Children’s books that forever changed my life.

It turns out I have an affinity for things French (besides fools and fries). Today I send you in the direction of a cat that travels, in the inscrutably self-actualized nature of a cat, across the entire country of France to find his original home.

This is the sweetest, shortest evocation of a spiritual sojourn that I have ever read.

The Cat Who Walked Across France
By Kate Banks
Pictures by Georg Hallensleben

Kitty lives in a stone house by the sea until the day he is shipped north, with all the other lifelong belongings of the old woman who once scratched his ears and stroked his back. Soon he is forgotten among the unclaimed and disused. Until one day he leaves.

Children playing ball would chase after him. And the cat would scurry up a tree. But when he nestled in its branches, he would remember the tangy smell of lemons ripening on a branch under a window at the stone house by the edge of the sea. And he would move on.

May we all move on through a life as lush as the French landscape until we reach a wide open front door, settle into a warm, familiar spot and come to rest, knowing we are home.

Earlier recommendations here and here.


  1. may we all indeed.

    Comment by Kirsten Michelle — October 21, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

  2. Yes we do know, don’t we? Thank you for the recommendations. I have been searching for the perfect blessing to inscribe in a birthday card for a dear friend. May I use yours?

    Comment by Kathleen Botsford — October 21, 2008 @ 7:02 pm

  3. Kathleen, yes, with my total and shameless insistence.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — October 21, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

  4. I’ll have to add this to my wishlist.

    Comment by Shelli — October 21, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

  5. This new children’s book thread of yours is going to be quite dangerous for my picture book habit. Fortunately I already own one of the three so far….can’t wait for the next pick!

    Comment by Eejaydee — October 22, 2008 @ 1:15 am

  6. Did you see that my precious unsung Pierre’s Dream only cost .22 cents because it is out of print and only sold through used booksellers? A bargain at twice the price!

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — October 22, 2008 @ 1:45 am

  7. I have neither read nor heard of any of these books. I hope they weren’t around when my were younger; I am sad to think we missed them. But I can try to find them now – at the library anyway.

    Comment by GailNHB — October 22, 2008 @ 2:45 am

  8. Perhaps you know of the nifty online resource for checking the catalogs of libraries worldwide? http://www.worldcat.org/

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — October 22, 2008 @ 2:57 am

  9. i am in love with what you are doing with these books!
    thank you so much for sharing your favorites and passing on the passion.
    i, myself, can’t wait to get my hands on ALL of them!

    Comment by jessamyn — October 22, 2008 @ 4:14 am

  10. My daughter thanks you!

    Comment by Mama Zen — October 22, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

  11. Sadly they don’t have the Cat or Georgia, but Rumphius and Pierre are available NEW at Bookcloseouts.com for anyone looking to buy one or some as gifts… the price is still right – hardcover books for $6.99 and $5.99 respectively – my favorite place to bargain book hunt! Plus you can usually find a coupon code by googling and drop the price $5-10 which offsets shipping/handling costs.

    The Cat arrived at my house today via Amazon and I will most definitely be reading it in Cole’s K/1 class in a few weeks when I am Mystery Reader!

    Thanks for the wonderful recommendation!

    Comment by Melissa Moore — October 25, 2008 @ 3:02 am

  12. Bien sur, Melissa. Bien sur.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — October 25, 2008 @ 3:19 am

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