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The Cat Who Walked Across France    by Kate Banks & Georg Hallensleben order for
Cat Who Walked Across France
by Kate Banks
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The artwork is gorgeous and immediately entices the reader in, to turn the pages of The Cat Who Walked Across France. It's the tale of a small grey cat who lived 'in the stone house by the edge of the sea' with an old woman. When she died, the cat was shipped north along with her belongings ... and was forgotten.

Not liking his situation and being a typically strong-willed feline, the cat leaves the city, dreaming of his seaside home. He journeys, and the reader travels France - both countryside and cityscapes - with him. He's lonely and tired, but memories, of 'the tangy smell of lemons', 'the taste of the salty air', and the feeling of someone who cared, pull him ever onwards.

Both kids and adults will root for this indomitable small creature, while sharing his exploration of France (the journey can be traced on the back cover), beautifully presented in the illustrations. And we all know he's home at last when small hands gently stroke him.

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