Can Cat and Bird be friends?

Coll Muir

Book - 2019

Instead of eating Bird, Cat decides that friendship is better, but will the pair find something in common?

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Children's Room jE/Muir Due Jun 30, 2024
Picture books
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2019]
Main Author
Coll Muir (author)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

A primer on how to work through differences and forge friendship, this story features a black cat and white bird who, through dialogue, dissect the cat's contention that the bird must be eaten. Can't I be your friend instead? the bird counters. Exploring this question, they find that each knows what the other likes a wire for the bird to sit on, or a car for the cat to crouch under but they can't find an activity to do together. It's only when the bird, close to giving up, mentions painting that the two finally bond. Author-illustrator Muir plays with opposition of color, especially in the coordinated typography: the cat's text is black, and the bird's text is white. The tension resolves in a splattering of color on the final spread, as the two paint portraits of each other. Simple but effective, this book will appeal to little listeners who are themselves figuring out how to approach new friends, though it could certainly work for older (even grown-up) readers, too.--Karen Cruze Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Getting from the title question to yes is challenging for Cat, a smoky black oblong with pointy ears and prominent claws, and Bird, a bright white circle with stick black legs and an aeronautical tail. As their brisk, all-dialogue story opens against a minimalist taupe backdrop, Cat insists, "I must eat you" because "it's always been like that." But Bird is unwilling to rule out friendship and counters with thoughtful gestures-like showing Cat a "fun box" to play in-then successfully demands reciprocity from Cat, who takes Bird to a trove of worms. Now they're friendly, but real friendship requires common ground, and that's nowhere in sight ("'Do you like flying?' 'Of course not. I'm a cat'"). An offhand remark by Bird reveals a shared passion for painting, and the final spread finds them at their respective easels, creating a double portrait, the taupe pages joyously splattered with red, blue, green, yellow, and purple. Comic book artist Muir's visually playful and astute volume suggests that no matter the species, becoming friends takes work-a delicate blend of thinly veiled negotiations and leaps of faith, with a soupçon of the serendipitous. Ages 4-8. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-K--This intriguing tale of a cat and a bird becoming friends will help very young readers understand that children can be different and still be friends. As the tale unfolds, Cat tells Bird that he must eat him because cats eat birds. Bird questions Cat's logic, and the feline replies that this is the way it's always been. Bird shows Cat places that he might find interesting like trees, boxes, and under cars. Cat then shows Bird activities like climbing on telephone wires and searching for twigs and worms. They decide to be friends until they figure out that neither of them likes the same things. Bird obviously doesn't like stretching and cat likes taking baths. Bird then turns around and says he's going home to paint. All of a sudden, Cat says, "I love painting!" Both then paint together. A lovely addition to any public library, this book sends the message that anyone can be friends despite their differences. The illustrations are mostly black and white except when the pair decide to become friends and the pages are suddenly in color. VERDICT Interesting take on teaching young children to be friends, even with those most unlikely.--Amy Lukich, Tinley Park Public Library, IL

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Cat: "Are you a bird?" Bird: "Yes, I am." Cat: "Then I must eat you." In this faultless comedy-sketch-like dialogue, Bird must make a case for being spared (e.g., "I know the best car for a cat to hide under"). The stark black-and-white-on-brown art is relieved in a final, color-spattered spread that shows the should-be adversaries at (messy) peace: "PAINTING?! I love painting! (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A dialogue between predator and prey upends the expected outcome of their encounter given their positions within the food chain.Cat is ready to eat Bird, but the quick-thinking, diminutive creature has the sense to ask why. When the feline does not have a well-reasoned response, Bird suggests they become friends and sets out to show the surprised listener where to find the best box (for playing), the highest branch, and the most desirable car to hide under. Just as Cat is considering the possibilities, Bird raises reverse suitability questions. They finally decide to give it a gountil they realize they have nothing in common. Uncluttered, digital compositions are rendered in black (the cat) and white (the bird) on a taupe background; the type colors correspond to the respective characters, so there is no need for quotation marks or framing explanations. The caricatures are formed from stylized shapes with a limited range of expressions: The feline is essentially a rectangle topped with two curved, triangular ears, while the bird is a small white circle with wings, tail feathers, and thin legs. At the conclusion, the two discover that they both enjoy painting, so the palette expands as they render each other against a paint-splotched background.It's mildly diverting, but there are a host of more compelling explorations of what it takes to be friends. (Picture book. 4-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.