Plaidcats: Art of Christopher Cyr Art Books Projects About

Who Will Bell the Cat?

Story by Patricia C. McKissack
Art by Christopher Cyr
Holiday House

Date of Publication: April 10, 2018
ISBN: 9780823447398
40 Pages

One cold winter night, a cat sought shelter in a barn occupied by mice. When the cat began terrorizing the mice they met and decided something had to be done. If they put a bell around the cat’s neck, they would know where she was at all times. Good idea, but who was going to bell the cat?

Illustrator's Note

I grew up around old barns seeing little mice darting into cracks and corners. Bringing to life their mouse-eye perspective, I tried to make the world seem big and magical, but also a little scary so that you felt like you were just a mouse too. With such a villainous cat lurking around the corner, this barn life is equal parts perilous and whimsical.

The mice hold a meeting.

A Chicago Tribune's Best Children’s Book of the Year!

" The kindly mice are adorable with their bulging eyes, soft fur and big rounded ears. But it’s when Marmalade, the evil barn cat, emerges from the shadows — yellow eyes aglow, each razor-sharp tooth and claw illuminated — that this tale of mice trying to subdue their oppressor really comes to life. The mice in this absorbing tale, beautifully told with striking art, hatch plan after plan to bell the cat, but justice comes only when a new creature arrives on the scene. "

★ Kirkus Starred Review

" Cyr, in his debut picture book, creates an atmospheric and precarious landscape through brilliant use of shadow and color. Marmalade’s eyes, a lugubrious shade of yellow, convey the full extent of her villainy, while the scale of the mice in the shadowy barn reinforces the danger that they are in. "

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year!

School Library Journal

" Dramatic use of dark and light presents a threatening Marmalade and the large-eyed colony of mild-mannered mice from various perspectives. Soft lines of the digitally created illustrations do little to mitigate the harsh appearance of the devilish cat which softens considerably when seen from a distance with the young girl. McKissack’s retelling of this fable from India ends with a different but satisfying twist.
VERDICT A worthy addition to home and school libraries by a master storyteller, perfect for storytime or one-on-one sharing. "

The mice meet their foe.


" A truly scary, folkloric story about clever little ones coping with a brutal foe. "

The Horn Book

" Cyr’s use of light draws viewers’ eyes toward the solicitous and thoughtful mice, but when the cat attacks against a vibrant red background on a full-bleed double-page spread, expect startled squeals aplenty. "


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