Thursday, July 1, 2010

Heartaches of a French Cat

This one’s for you, Cristy.

Another book that kept me flipping through those thrift store shelves. Somehow finding a book like this unexpectedly makes me love it all the more.

Barbara McClintock 1989

A “beautiful, sophisticated and unusual child’s picture book” inspired by stories of Honore de Balzac and P.J. Stahl. The story is told without text but takes place on the stage, relying on the theatrical illustrations which Madeleine and I found absolutely delightful!

Minette leaves home for a life of romance and wealth with the rakish Count Bisquet. But the Count grows tired of his wife and takes up with an actress, much to Minette’s sorrow and humiliation. She takes their kitten and leaves her husband, returning to her sisters. The Count’s lawyer, who has been kind and fallen in love with Minette presents her with a marriage annulment and a proposal. Instead of accepting the lawyer’s hand, Minette makes her own fortune by writing her memoirs which become a grand hit.

 Madeleine wished that she married the lawyer but he shows up at the end with flowers so I think they do get togther after all.

Barbara McClintock was obviously influenced by the French illustrator J.J. Grandville but this one reminds me of Max Ernst.


  1. How does one meet a "cat-about-town"?

  2. I remember this book, the theme was so mature that I was surprised to find it in a children's book. It was so haunting but such a stark reflection of the reality faced by adults