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 Smith’s classically inspired images, this contemplative story pays tribute to the wisdom of animals and the wonders of the natural world.
The stylized artwork captures the timeless beauty of the poem in this simple yet meaningful picturebook, highly recommended.
The text’s subtle moral is timeless but also sings with elegiac timeliness — what a wonderful counterpoint to modern life’s hamster wheel of achievement and approval, this idea that there is poetry in every pursuit executed with purposefulness and savored with uncompetitive joy.
The adaptation . . . is as unostentatious as the watercolor-and-ink illustrations, which meld a medieval spirit with a modern sense of cartooning, a juxtaposition that is fresh and seems entirely right.
If you want to treat yourself to a superb picture book, treat yourself to this one.
Author Jo Ellen Bogart has provided an unembellished, thoughtful text that pays tribute to the value of perseverance and dedication for one's vocation, be it humble or exalted.
Smith . . . imbues the text with contemporary visual language through his singular, elegantly minimalist graphic novel aesthetic.
Truly a wonderful book, THE WHITE CAT AND THE MONK expresses the richness of the relationship between the two characters.
The watercolor-and-ink artwork has both heft and humor, especially in the joyful depictions of the manuscripts...Readers who consider the story’s underlying messages about necessities, companionship, and fulfillment will come away enriched.
... a sophisticated and subtle story about the pursuit of joy—one that will easily resonate with readers young and old.
If ever there was a book that could calm a child and draw her into meditative contemplation (perhaps right before bed?), The White Cat and the Monk is it.
...lyrical yet easily understood...Contentment and joy are reflected in text and image
This is a great book for any group of readers . . . a great book to introduce to kids who may not think they like poetry.
A stunningly illustrated meditative ode to the simple joys of human-animal companionship and the pursuit of knowledge.