Ahoy there me mateys! I received this children’s fiction eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here are me honest musings . . .
cleo and cornelius: a tale of two cities and two kitties (Elizabeth Nicholson, Janine Pibal, Nick Geller, Michelle Thies)
Title: cleo and cornelius: a tale of two cities and two kitties
Authors: Elizabeth Nicholson, Janine Pibal, & Nick Geller
Illustrator: Michelle Thies
Publisher: Getty Publications
Publication Date: Tomorrow! (hardcover)
The recommend age for this yarn be 3 – 5 years of age. But I firmly believe I should be allowed to read whatever I want and this captured me fancy for five reasons:
- the cool title; and
- it was said to be a town mouse / country mouse retelling.
Sign me up! Apparently the book was:
inspired by the exhibition Beyond the Nile: Eqypt and the Classical World at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibition explores artistic and cultural exchange among Egypt, Greece, and Rome from the Bronze Age through the decline of the Roman Empire.
The exhibit has over 200 artifacts and some of them show up in the pages of this book! That’s pretty neat. As the exhibit is in Los Angeles through September 9th and I be on the opposite U.S. coast, it doesn’t seem likely that I will get to see this exhibit in person. But ye can check out some of the pieces on display by clicking here to see the selected works on the museum’s website.
While the book illustrations are truly lovely, there isn’t much of an actual plot. I didn’t really get a town mouse / country mouse vibe at all. Both cats are from Egypt and visit Rome. It isn’t a cat from each city sharing it with the other. I believe I would have preferred that (or is it purrfurred? hardy har har!). But I do believe children would like the illustrations and if they are in the projected age range then they likely are readin’ this with the help of an adult anyway. I, of course, liked the “Notes to the Reader” section with additional facts about the time period. So overall the illustrations are what makes this read worthwhile. The story – not so much.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Getty Publications!
Goodreads has this to say about the book:
Adventurous Cleo and couch potato Cornelius live in ancient Egypt, where cats are worshipped like gods and goddesses. After Cornelius accidentally boards a boat departing on a voyage across the sea, Cleo and Cornelius find themselves in the faraway city of Rome, a place where dogs are treated like kings. In Rome, the activities never end! Cleo and Cornelius race chariots, play games, perform in a theater, and more. Do they even want to return to Egypt? A spin on Aesop’s classic fable “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,” Cleo and Cornelius is teeming with hungry hippos, toga-clad dogs, and dancing cat mummies, bringing new excitement to a timeless tale.
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