By Catherine Austen & Virginie Egger, Kids Can Press, $16.95, 32 pages
In ancient Egypt, people worshipped Isis, a cat goddess. Today, millions of people worship their beloved pet cats. The clever new book My Cat Isis is a comparison between a boy’s beloved cat and the cat’s Egyptian goddess namesake.
Author Catherine Austen introduces the reader to Egyptology while at the same time grounding the reader in modern times by using a pet cat to make comparisons. One page discusses the ancient Egyptian cat Isis having a baby and the adjoining page tells about modern day Isis being spayed. The young narrator informs the reader that Isis was wise and talented in the ways of magic, then explains that Isis, his pet cat, is clever, too: she figured out how to open the cupboard where the kibble was stored! Ancient Egyptian Isis stood guard over the living and the dead like a devoted mother. In this comparison, modern day Isis stands by the bird feeder, protecting the seeds.
Illustrator Virginie Egger’s torn paper collage technique is very effective in telling the ancient and modern day story of Isis. Not only is the technique unusual, but when combined with other types of drawings, it provides excellent illustrations for the reader to enjoy.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin