April 11, 2009

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Chicken & Cat

Written by Sara Varon
Illustrated by Sara Varon
Scholastic

I really enjoyed the other Sara Varon books I read (see tag below), so I figured I'd grab her children's book and see if it was as good as her other anthropomorphical stories.

The answer is definitely yes.

While the book is clearly intended for younger audiences, Varon's style still holds up for an adult reader who wants to see more of her work. The little touches that make her simplistic style work so well are here in abundance, such as putting a fare sign on the side of a taxi, or a used book store next to a place that sells records (complete with a record on the sign). A child may not get the exact nature of these things, but it's nice to see that Varon doesn't cheat on the illustrations just because it's a book for kids.

After all, though comical, these are designed to be two characters in a real city, and that's just the type of things you'll see in a real city. It makes sense, but I'm glad it's not overlooked.

The story itself is straightforward. Cat, a country fellow, moves in with Chicken, from the city. He sees the sights anew, just like I once did when visting my grandmother and aunt in Pittsburgh. But Cat begins to get lonely, so the two of them build a garden! And what a pretty garden it is, too!

This is a nice children's book for those who have kids. Those who like Varon's other works will also enjoy the art style here, however, so it's definitely worth picking up for anyone who, like me, digs her work. After all, anyone who draws a sunburnt chicken is an artist you need to read!