Are You a Cat?
by Muir, Coll

A follow-up to Can Cat and Bird Be Friends? finds clever Cat avoiding a conflict with Dog by claiming not to be a cat and then haphazardly trying to imitate a butterfly, bunny and bird before a little mouse helps Cat remember his true nature. 40,000 first printing. Illustrations.

A dog questions another animal's assertion that it is not a cat. "Why do you want to know if I'm a cat?" asks the black, feline-looking creature. "I'm a dog and dogs chase cats," replies the self-identified dog, plump and orange-brown with black ears. The dog's words appear throughout in a white font against the slate blue background of the pages, the enigmatic animal's words in black. It denies being a cat and then claims, in succession, to be a bird, a squirrel, a butterfly, and a rabbit. The dog challenges the not-a-cat to do the things those animals do: fly, crack open a nut, land gently on a flower, hop down a hole. The back and forth of the dialogue becomes pleasantly predictable, with the contrary creature repeatedly responding to the dog's knowledge about what other animals do with a bland "I knew that." When a mouse appears, the dog shrewdly asks whether its interlocutor wants to chase it. The creature admits to wanting to chase the mouse and, yes, "I am a cat." Muir's simple, slightly abstract cartoon art gives both animals each broad personality along with an identifiable and amusing cast of minor characters. The butterfly and the rabbit, especially, look fairly alarmed as the cat tries to prove adept at uncatlike skills. Silly and slight—but the dog's ability to ask the right questions is admirable. (Picture book. 2-4) Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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