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My Lazy Cat

This French import, originally published last year, opens with an epigraph from Serge Gainsbourg (“To make old bones / You have to go easy”), which reflects the story’s suggestion that life is better when we all slow down.

The young girl who narrates the story introduces readers to Boomer, the fat cat that showed up on her doorstep one day and invited himself to live with the family. She explains how lazy Boomer is—unlike her. She’s hyper-busy and overscheduled. “I don’t have time to cuddle,” she tells the cat. “Get out of my way!” She has soccer, painting, yoga, swim class, judo, pottery and much more on her to-do list.

In a hurry one morning, the girl trips over the snoozing cat, and the pair breaks out into surprised laughter. The cat literally having stopped the girl in her tracks, it’s the first time she pauses to relax and enjoy her day. She and Boomer head outdoors to do “nothing at all,” lounging around, watching the clouds and enjoying one another’s company. Readers get the sense that this is something the girl will make a habit of, given her response to her parents when they ask what she did all day. “Nothing,” she responds with a smile, while giving a tender hug to Boomer.

Roussey’s soft, simply drawn illustrations, primarily pastel-colored, exude a childlike innocence and cheer. The narrator’s voice is engaging and genuine and may convince overscheduled American readers to take a cue from her—to put on the brakes, take a breath and enjoy the day. Boomer, after all, knows best.

 

Julie Danielson features authors and illustrators at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a children’s literature blog.

 

My Lazy Cat

By Christine Roussey

Abrams
$16.95
ISBN 9781419726026
Published 11/21/2017

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