Sometimes It Takes A Cat

By Sandra Cisneros, Illustrated by Ester Hernandez
Alfred A. Knopf 21.00 101 pages

In Have You Seen Marie? Award-winning author Sandra Cisneros tells the story of her search for a runaway cat that parallels her journey through grief after the death of her mother. When she finds herself motherless and alone like “a glove left behind at the bus station,” she plunges into her community asking if anyone has seen the cat. Artist, Ester Hernandez illustrates her trek through the neighborhoods with drawings of some of the people they encounter along the way, from the girl in a fiesta dress who is covered in tattoos, to a bearded man in a wheelchair collecting empty cans. Cisneros, who has won many awards including NEA Fellowships, the Lannan Literary Award, the American Book Award, as well as a MacArthur Fellowship, says she knew as she wrote this story that “it was helping to bring me back to myself.” This is a charmingly illustrated tale, rich in metaphor, and a solace to anyone who has felt the despair of losing someone dear.

“I wish somebody had told me then that death allows you the chance to experience the world soulfully, that the heart is open like the aperture of a camera, taking in everything, painful as well as joyous, sensitive as the skin of water.”

Reviewed By Diane Prokop

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