Crazy About Cats

illus. by Owen Davey. 40p. index. Flying Eye. Sept. 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781911171164.
Gr 2–5—Following Smart About Sharks and Mad About Monkeys, Davey now lends his signature style to the world of cats, large and small. Davey's illustrations and design are phenomenal. Stylized images, done in a color palette of oranges and greens on heavy matte paper, evoke a chic, retro vibe. The artwork is so engaging that the text almost seems secondary, but in fact, a surprising amount of information is stuffed into 40 pages. Davey begins with introductory data such as what cats eat (anything with meat, even turtles and snakes) and basic feline anatomy (this section includes a clever diagram of retracted cat claws). Information gets more detailed and species-specific further on in the book. One memorable spread features a scale diagram of a human next to eight different cats (tigers are huge!). An index provides species nomenclature and world region. The only information that is slightly confusing is a chart of cat lineage. Readers looking for an accurate evolutionary tree may come to the conclusion that pumas are descended from modern tigers because of the layout. Overall, this book is a strong introduction to the cat family that can also serve as a great jumping-off point for further investigation about lesser-known types such as the caracal and jaguarundi.
VERDICT A visual feast for all ages, this book melds amazing graphic design with fantastic facts to form a must-have for animal lovers and nonfiction collections.

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