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The White Cat and the Monk
Groundwood Books
By Jo Ellen Bogart, illustrated by Sydney Smith
32 pages
age 3-5, 5-8

Synopsis from Groundwood Books:

A monk leads a simple life. He studies his books late into the evening and searches for truth in their pages. His cat, Pangur, leads a simple life, too, chasing prey in the darkness. As night turns to dawn, Pangur leads his companion to the truth he has been seeking..

Anyone who owns a pet knows the impact animals can have on our lives, even in subtle ways. The White Cat and the Monk illustrates the companionship between man and pet, as the monk and the white cat enjoy their own personal pursuits but in the silent company of each other. It’s also a reminder that being together can be just as rewarding, comforting and supportive, even if you aren’t doing anything together.

The illustrations remind me of block prints, reminiscent of the type of illustrations created within the books the Monks were known to create. The muted colours add to the tranquil, sparse world of the Monk. The White Cat and the Monk is a lovely story around companionship and how pets without words can be a support, guide and comfort to us as people.

Additional Reading: Odd Dog.

You can find a copy of The White Cat and the Monk from Groundwood Books or your local bookstore. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations.

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