The Baritone Cat


32 pages
ISBN 1-895555-52-3
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Janet Wilson
Reviewed by Joan Buchanan

Joan Buchanan is a writing instructor and storyteller, and the author of
Taking Care of My Cold! and The Nana Rescue.


“Sam was a cat who loved three things. He loved to roam, he loved to
eat, and he loved to sing.” These opening lines exemplify Mora
Skelton’s direct, thoughtful, and warm writing. When Sam’s owner
falls ill, Sam tries to manage for himself but is soon starving. The
author tells the story from Sam’s point of view; he talks and thinks,
but is not anthropomorphized. Everything he does makes sense for a
desperate city cat shooed away by humans. The text is just the right
length, not overly long or wordy, and has a pleasing, believable
resolution with no trace of moralism.

Janet Wilson’s illustrations complement the story well. The colors,
expressions, cat movements, close-ups, and backdrops all suit the tone,
and give depth and variety. The design is holistic—text and pictures
flow naturally.

This is a book to be read and reread. The inherent message is about the
importance of loving, caring, and accepting while remaining true to
one’s choices and independence of spirit. Highly recommended.


Skelton, Mora., “The Baritone Cat,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 10, 2023,