Cat and Fish
Picture book | 32 pp | Years 2–4
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[ Overview | Author profile | Illustrator profile | Focus questions ]
Cat and Fish is the story of two characters that come from very different worlds – the land and the water. When they meet, they form an unusual friendship and decide they want to share in each other's lives. While Cat shows Fish his world, Fish realises she misses the sea. Cat takes her back home and meets Fish's friends. Understanding each other's different needs, they seek a solution so that they can remain friends and still be together.
Neil Curtis' stunning black and white illustrations reflect this story of opposites, highlighting the contrasts between the two different worlds of Cat and Fish. Created in pen and ink, the illustrations appear as engravings with intricate detail and effective use of line to represent different terrains. This is further enhanced by text layout and design that support the illustrations and reflect the different environments.
In 2004, Cat and Fish was named Picture Book of the Year by the Australian Children's Book Council and has been published and distributed internationally. A sequel, Cat and Fish Go to See, continues the collaboration of Joan Grant and Neil Curtis, as well as the friendship of these two very different characters. Young children will enjoy this simple story of friendship, while older children and adults will be prompted to consider the deeper messages in the book.
Read a review of Cat and Fish on the Aussiereview website(http://www.aussiereviews.com/article1354.html).
Joan Grant grew up in Brooklyn, New York and has since worked and lived in Paris, Singapore, New Delhi, Shanghai and Melbourne. She is a teacher, writer and historian, as well as being able to speak French and a little Chinese. Joan now lives in inner-city Melbourne. She works at Monash University as a senior lecturer in contemporary Asian studies and one day a week with asylum seekers. Joan has five grown up children. Joan and Neil Curtis share a respectful friendship and have collaborated on a further adventure of Cat and Fish called Cat and Fish Go to See.
Neil Curtis was born in the East End of London and immigrated with his parents to Broadmeadows, just north of Melbourne, in the late 1950s. He found the move difficult as both his accent and his lack of interest in sport made it difficult for him to be accepted. Neil now lives in Melbourne where he works as a freelance illustrator. His work has been exhibited in Australia and internationally, and he has been awarded the Silver Award for Illustration by the Australian Writers and Art Directors Association. Neil has published a number of children's books including The Roo Book and Bear Dinkum, as well as illustrating short novels such as Big Feet, Very Sweet and collaborating with Joan Grant to produce another book about Cat and Fish.
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