Saturday, December 27, 2008

More books I've read in 2008

Two more picture books -- er, graphic novels, both about cats. The first about a bunch of big ones and the second about one little one.

"Pride of Baghdad" is based --sorta -- on a true story, about the lions in the Baghdad zoo who were set free when Iraq was attacked by the United States of America. Of course these lions can talk, and I doubt the real lions could. I enjoyed this book very much. I think it made a great point about how innocents suffer during war. Surprisingly, because you know I love puns and wordplay, the only thing that didn't work for me and that jarred me out of the story was the tigress-Tigris pun that came up in a conversation between one of the lions and a tortoise. I just don't think that pun would work in either lion lingo or tortoise tongue.

I also enjoyed "The Rabbi's Cat" by Joann Sfar. The titular feline kills and eats a parrot and gains the power of speech, after which he has several conversations with the rabbi about spirituality in general and Judaism in particular. (And let's just say that cats are not real religious.) He loses the power of speech when he calls out the name of the lord -- a big no-no in Judaism, but that's not the end of the story. The rabbi's daughter, his beloved mistress, marries and moves away. They are visited by their cousin who travels with a lion. The rabbi meets a Muslim holy man. The entire group travels to Paris to meet the groom's family, where the rabbi has a faith crisis. And everybody learns to bend a little. The rabbi becomes less dogmatic, the cat befriends a canine even though he once said that "A dog is a sunny, simpleminded, moralistic, macho shithead."

And I just found out there's a sequel, so excuse me while I update my Bookmooch wishlist.

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