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When I judged this book by its wonderful cover, I thought it was going to be a hilarious book. I was pleasantly surprised to find within a heartfelt, beautiful story with subtle touches of humor. The cat on Blossom Street belongs to no one and everyone at the same time--he wanders from house to house, acquiring different names for each person he encounters (Archie, Snufflekins, Oliver, etc.). But one house is never visited--number eleven, where lonely old Mrs. Murray lives. When the cat shows up on her doorstep and disappears from his daily rounds, the concerned neighbors search for him and end up on Mrs. Murray’s doorstep. It turns out the cat has settled into Mrs. Murray’s peacefully quiet routine--knitting, sitting by the fire, watching television. He has, the neighbors realize, found a place to belong. 11 Blossom Street then becomes the most frequently visited house in the neighborhood, full of friends old and new.
In this age of hyper-connectedness of social media and smartphones, it is all too easy to forget how important simple human-to-human interaction is. And how that interaction is what builds a community that supports and shares with one another. And how those communities, strung together, are what could make our world a better place. Harnett has created a lovely reminder of the importance of noticing the loneliest, the neediest, in our midst. It is a necessary, touching reminder that will resonate for young and old, paired with warm, expressive, detailed illustrations that depict a beautifully diverse neighborhood. The text is minimal and the pacing superb, making this perfect for reading aloud, for storytime or bedtime.
Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius Cat, I love you.
Archie, Cupcake, Oliver, Valentine... the cat who lives on Blossom Street is called something different by everyone, and loved by all. But there is one house on the street that he hasn't visited yet... In this sweet story, Katie Harnett explores how one well-loved cat can change a lonely woman's life and bring a small community together.
About the Author
Katie Harnett grew up in Sheffield, UK, graduating with an Illustration BA at the University of the West of England followed by an MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art in 2015. Her work was selected to be exhibited in The Illustrators Exhibition at the Bologna Book Fair in 2012 and 2015, where she received the Bologna Children's Book Fair ARS IN FABULA Grant Award. She is inspired by nature, old movies and photos, patterns, and the work of Cy Twombly, Tove Jansson and Eric Ravilious (amongst many others). She works using a combination of gouache, watercolour and colored pencils. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and is included in upcoming exhibitions in Moscow and Beijing. She now lives and works in Cambridge, where her studio has many feline visitors (including a real life Archie).
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