The White Cat and the Monk

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By Jo Ellen Bogart

Illustrated by Sydney Smith

Groundwood Books

March 15, 2016

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.

The White Cat and the Monk is a retelling of the classic Old Irish poem “Pangur Bán.” With Jo Ellen Bogart’s simple and elegant narration and Sydney’s Smith’s classically inspired images, this contemplative story pays tribute to the wisdom of animals and the wonders of the natural world.

wheel Governor General’s Award Finalist

wheel New York Times Best Illustrated Book

wheel “Sydney Smith’s distinctive art (he also illustrated the magnificent “Sidewalk Flowers”) falls partway between modernist fairy tale and graphic novel, opening an inviting portal between past and present as the ancient story comes to life in a decidedly contemporary aesthetic.” —New York Times

wheel “A sophisticated and subtle story about the pursuit of joy.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

wheel “This quiet, historical gem will charm children and adults alike.” —Kirkus, starred review

wheel “A beautiful piece of bookmaking.” —Booklist, starred review

wheel “A stunningly illustrated meditative ode to the simple joys of human-animal companionship and the pursuit of knowledge.”–School Library Journal, starred review

 One of Brain Picking’s Best Children’s Books of 2016