Cosimo Cat


24 pages
ISBN 0-590-73649-3
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Regolo Ricci
Reviewed by E. Jane Philipps

E. Jane Philipps is a science librarian in the Biology Library at
Queen’s University.


Opel’s first picture book tells the story of a lost cat tracked
through the city by a young boy named Rowan. The plot is reminiscent of
Stéphane Poulin’s Have You Seen Josephine? but lacks that work’s
liveliness and charm. With the exception of a single lyrical phrase that
recurs, like a musical motif, throughout the text, the prose is stolid
and uninspired. Conceptually, Cosimo Cat contains all the elements of an
adventure, but Opel has failed to unite them in a whole that captures
the imagination. The sights and sounds of the city are described, but
they are not brought to life. The language conveys no sense of
excitement, movement, or poetry.

The muted tones of Ricci’s illustrations draw the reader on in a way
that the text does not. They share the static quality of the text, but
intrigue and enchant with their attention to and fine rendering of
details that present the familiar in a pleasing new light.

The description on the book’s back cover promises a “wild cat
chase” and a “surprising ending” that the contents does not
deliver. Young children will enjoy Cosimo Cat, but it will not become an
oft-revisited favorite.


Oppel, Kenneth., “Cosimo Cat,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 24, 2024,