'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Review: The White Cat and the Monk

The White Cat and the Monk is a retelling of an old Irish poem called Pangur Bán. Pangur Bán was written in the ninth century by an Irish monk whose name is unknown. 

The word ‘bán’ means white and it’s believed that the word ‘pangur’ means ‘fuller.’A fuller was a person who fluffed and whitened cloth. What a wonderful name for a white cat!

I must admit that I love this book so much that when I first bought it I carried it around with me for weeks just so I could gaze at Sydney Smith’s illustrations and pour over Ellen Bogart’s exquisitely simple text, whenever I was on a train or in a coffee shop.

The book tells the story of a monk and his cat living peacefully together, each appreciating and respecting the other. The text is deceptively simple and works so beautifully. 

‘Pangur does not disturb me at my work, and I do not disturb him at his. We are each content, with all we need to entertain us. Ours is a happy tale.’(Jo Ellen Bogart)

Title: The White Cat and the Monk
Author: Jo Ellen Bogart
Illustrator: Sydney Smith
Publisher: Walker Books, $11.90
Publication Date: 30 March 2016
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781406372977
For ages: 6+
Type: Picture Book