Synopses & Reviews
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 the Author
In Her Own Words...
"When I was young I wanted to be a veterinarian or a 'bugologist' since I collected everything that crawled or flew. I even raised monarch butterflies! But when a fellow teacher read one of my short stories, written for my class, she asked if I had ever considered writing for children. I hadn't. So I tried. As soon as I realized how hard (and how satisfying) it was, I was hooked.
"I think of words as beads in a wonderfully cluttered shop. I wander through the door, pour samples of each kind through my hands, carefully select what I can't live without from the vast assortment, then go home clutching my treasures. One by one, I string my bead-words, holding them to the light now and then; slipping one off, adding another; listening to the glorious taps and clicks they make as they roll against each other; until at last they are strung into sentences, paragraphs, books that I hope will be beautiful--or exquisitely ridiculous-to a reader."
"Tony Johnston has written more than eighty books for young people. She graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a Master of Arts in education.
"In the 1960's, her husband Roger's banking job brought them to New York City. As a "slush" reader at Harper &Row in a time when the field of children's literature was booming, Mrs. Johnston was able to "saturate herself" in the industry. "John Steptoe was in and out, working on his first book. Anita and Arnold Lobel were there. And I remember Maurice Sendak coming in with his father to have lunch with Ursula Nordstrom." While reading the unsolicited manuscripts of other children's writers, she continued to develop her own writing.
"Roger's job led them to Mexico City, where two of their three daughters were born. During their fifteen years living in Mexico, Mrs. Johnston persisted with her writing. She also wrote many stories in Spanish, including works commissioned by the Mexican government. Many of her cherished Mexican experiences became springboards for books she would eventually publish.
"In 1985, the life of this award-winning author came full circle. She returned to San Marino, California-where she had grown up--and now shares a home with her husband and their three daughters, jenny, Samantha, and Ashley, as well as her wire-haired dachshund named Suzi.
"Johnston never stops working. In addition to her writing, she has worked at a children's bookstore, taught a course at UCLA on picturebook writing, and studied poetry writing for children with Myra Cohn Livingston. She continues to strive toward her life goal-to be a good storyteller.
"The author offers this advice: "Read your brains loose!"