Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Black Cat, White Cat

Publish February 19, 2016

Silvia Borando’s picture book Black Cat, White Cat tells the sweet story of a black cat who only goes out during the day and a white cat who only goes at night. The two meet when Black Cat decides to explore the night and White Cat is curious about the day. The cats become friends, sharing the best parts of night and day with each other. Illustrated mainly in black and white, the contrast between the two colours highlights both the differences and similarities between Black Cat’s and White Cat’s lives. For example, Black Cat faces right and always appears on a white background or silhouetted against White Cat; White Cat is a mirror image, always facing left and appearing against a black background. These contrasts are echoed in the story’s text. On the first few pages Black Cat and White Cat are each introduced in almost identical sentences, as Borando simply changes the word “black” to “white.” Both cats enjoy watching the sky, and both consult a friend before setting off to explore the opposite time of day. This pattern of repetition, combined with Borando’s simple drawings, lulls readers into thinking they know exactly what to expect from the book, but the surprise at the end is a charming twist — and even the orange endpapers are in on the joke. Black Cat, White Cat is an adorable picture book that shows how even some opposites can share more similarities than readers might think.

Black Cat, White Cat

Silvia Borando
Candlewick Press: Penguin Random House of Canada
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-8106-7

Roseanne Gauthier
Roseanne Gauthier

Roseanne Gauthier is the Youth Services Librarian for the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Public Library Service, and is PEI's 2017 award-winning 'Champion of Reading'. She has worked in the Faculties of Education at both the University of Prince Edward Island and Mount Saint Vincent University and spent two amazing years as the Children’s Librarian at the Confederation Centre Public Library. She holds an MLIS from Dalhousie University, and an MA from the University of Waterloo. Roseanne lives in Charlottetown, PEI with her husband, their adorable daughter, and two tuxedo cats.

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