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Black Cat

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  208 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
On an eye-opening journey through urban landscapes, a stray black cat leaps, listens, and dances to the city's pulsating beats while searching for a home. Cool hip-hop rhythms and innovative collage artwork combine to create a book layered with meaning about identity, beauty, and home. Full color.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Scholastic Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Sarah Landwehr
Oct 03, 2011 Sarah Landwehr rated it really liked it
"Black Cat" by Christopher Myers narrates the whereabouts of a stray cat in a big city repeatedly asking, "black cat, black cat...where's your home?" Finally, after a montage of poetic lines the cat responds "anywhere I roam." The narration is poetic and utilizes metaphors that can only be understood with aid from the illustrations, which combine photography, collage, ink, and gouache. "Black Cat" is a unique poem that highlights the harsh reality of the life of a stray cat. For this reason, I t ...more
Courtney Gayle
I personally choose this book because of the cat on the front cover. The illustrations on the inside of the book didn't let me down either. i loved all of the illustrations in the book and I also loved how the other made the cat as independent as he was. I think the authors message in this book is that its okay to be yourself and to find yourself no matter how big the "city" is. I would use this book for its sequence of events inside my classroom and I would also use it just as a character lesso ...more
Nov 07, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
3.5 neat artwork
David Cheng
Oct 04, 2013 David Cheng rated it it was amazing
veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ...more
Kimberly Hirsh
Jul 01, 2010 Kimberly Hirsh rated it it was amazing
Christopher Myers’s Black Cat is a poetry picture book about a cat who roams the streets of New York. This book is appropriate for students throughout the elementary grades. Its rhythmic language and collage artwork appeal to a wide variety of ages. It introduces readers to poetic devices such as simile – “sauntering like rainwater down storm drains.” Its theme is the search for a home in a big city. The text has predictable elements. The invisible narrator often addresses the cat directly and r ...more
Los Gatos Library
A black cat, perhaps a stray, roams an urban landscape, relishing in his freedom and his comfort in the city. Christopher Meyers' text is almost poetry, a cross between "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" and something you might hear at a beat poetry program. The illustrations are a mix of photographs, collage, ink, and goache. The cat is always comprised of a mix of black patterns, batik, florals, and something that looks like fingerpaints. The result is a luminous character who seems c ...more
Taryn Loyd
In all honesty, I'm not sure what this book was about. It was basically about the author asking a black cat where his home was, and describing the various places. And at the end, the cat says that anywhere he roams is his home.

I would use this book when teaching about adjectives. It had lots of descriptive adjectives and really helped you picture was the author wanted you to see.
Georgia Karr
Feb 11, 2015 Georgia Karr rated it did not like it
Black Cat by Christopher Myers is a story about a black cat living in the city and the speaker is interested in where the cat lives. I did not care for this book all that much. There were very few words on the pages, yet there were multiple similes that stood out throughout the book. Because I noticed the first few similes, I was constantly watching for the next ones and wondered where they would be, which distracted me from the content of the book.
I liked how the story followed the cat through
Sophie Gray
Apr 26, 2014 Sophie Gray added it
Shelves: animals
The purpose of this book is strictly to show the audience what it feels like to find something to call their own. While the detailed images along with the poetic narration tell a story of a stray cat searching for a home of its own, the overall message is clear to the audience when it makes it to the end of the story line. The illustrations in the book make the narration very easy to follow as the use of poetic narration is more of a hip-hop beat, keeping the reader engaged and entertained. I ha ...more
Apr 08, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it
Having recently read an op-ed in the New York Times by this author regarding the lack of diversity in children's books in America, I chose to search out his work.

I must say that I loved this book both for the writing and the illustrations, which richly conveyed the mood and environment of the intercity. His multi-media approach to illustration is both stark and complex at the same time.

The op-ed pointed out that diversity in books was important both for the minority child, who needs to see him
Samantha Van
Title: Black Cat
Author and Illustrator: Christopher Myers
Artistic Media: Mixed Media; Photography and Collage
Brief Plot Summary: Someone is asking the black cat where he lives. The cat takes the reader all over Brooklyn and Harlem. The cat doesn’t answer this question until the end of the book. He then tells the reader that his home is wherever he roams.

Art Critique:

Color: The Illustrator uses a mixture of black and neon colors. It creates a wonderful contrast.

Shape: The shape of the cat show
Marika Graham
"Black Cat" by Christopher Myers is a fantastically written book that follows a black cat as it roams through the city. As I read it, it sounded like slam poetry to me. It seems as though it needs to be read rhythmically with swagger. As a kid, I grew up near or in cities and it made me think about all of the stray animals I saw and how I used to wonder where there home really was so on that note, it was extremely relatable.

David Saylor's art in this book is a combination of photographs, collage
Lucy Meadors
Black Cat, written by Christopher Myers, is a gorgeous book illustrated with mixed media. In the story, someone asks the black cat, " Where do you live?" Then, the cat takes wanders all over Harlem and Brooklyn, and takes the reader through subways, sidewalks, city blocks, basketball courts, fire escapes, and rooftops. By the end of the book, the black cat answers the question about where is his home. The black cat's reply was , "Anywhere I roam." The collage art and photography really make the ...more
Yasmin Gomez Geng
The illustrations of this book are very interesting because they reflect the very grunge, urban feel of the story. The illustrations are of mixed media, which include actual photographs mixed with paint and imposed patterns.

This book is about a black cat who wanders the city. The use of metaphors and similes creates a world within the city that is varied but also left up to interpretation by the child. The text is not the highlight of this book at all, but rather the illustrations are. It pulls
Keely Baldridge
Black cat is about a cat who roams the city streets whom the narrator is seeking to find out where the cat truly calls home. The cat reveals that anywhere he roams is where he calls home and belongs. I like this book and the unique subject. Most people can recall seeing a stray cat in a city so this also creates a connection for most readers. This would be a fun book to read in an inner-city school as well as other school classrooms when discussing not running off in the city towards distraction ...more
Pat Marrujo
Sep 26, 2012 Pat Marrujo rated it really liked it
The first thing you notice about this book is the artwork. It is fascinating how the illustrator used actual pictures and distorted the color with his own painting. I think it made the book interesting because you wanted to turn the page and look at the next piece of art.

It tells the story of a cat the roams the streets of New York. It is cool because it gives the reader an inside look at the storied city.

I think this would provide kids a great way to learn about New York. It makes them feel as
Samantha Weatherford
Feb 24, 2012 Samantha Weatherford rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young children
this book was ok but it didn't really spark my interest. the pictures were kind o abstract and the plot was boring. the whole story the cat is just walking here or there. it does however show alot about urban life, and give some perspective about those who live in in poverty. the cat wanders and does not have a true home, it says its where ever he roams. it does have a poetic type of flow, in the way its written.
Sep 11, 2012 Casey rated it it was amazing
I gave this book '5 Stars' because I really enjoyed the artwork. The text was interesting, very modern. Inside of the back cover Christopher Myers explained that he used photographs, ink, collage, and gouache to create the pictures. It's an exploration of the city at night, following a cat (which means it goes everywhere and does all sorts of cat things) Probably could be used to initiate some awesome painting-on-photos or collage art, or as part of a contemporary poetry bookshelf in class.
Mar 21, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
This book is very vivid through photographs and other art mediums. It is asked throughout the narration "Where is your home?" and the black cat doesn't answer until the end: "Wherever I roam." I think this is a good book to read to describe a different kind of home and the cat's travels. It is also a good introduction to rhythm and repetition. Students can discuss why this cat roams and the differences found in various homes.
Holly Brown
Nov 28, 2012 Holly Brown rated it really liked it
This book is about a black cat that wanders around the city. The author is following the cat around, trying to figure out where he lives. He finds out an unexpected answer to his question.

I found this book to be entertaining. The illustrations are great, and I love seeing the cat in his home.

I would use this book to introduce my students to poetry. It is also a great way to show my students great artwork of the city.
Feb 04, 2012 Abby rated it liked it
The illustrations are excellent; they capture the rough, gritty flavor of the big city streets with a unique multimedia effect, combining photograph, paint, and collage. The text of the book is a simple poem that follows a black cat as travels around the city. The symbolism of the black cat is pretty clear in the story, as someone growing up or living in an urban area. But the real reason for reading this book would be for the illustrations, not the text.
Emerson School  Library
The mixed-media illustrations and the assonance and alliteration in the poems makes this story of a cat's journey across town a crowd-pleasing read-aloud for fourth and fifth graders. Neat to compare and contrast with Fly -- two very different, cool offerings from the same talented author/illustrator.
Chynna Cuellar
Black Cat is a wonderful picture book by Christopher Myers. Myers take us on a journey with the black cat as he roams the city streets. Myers uses bright colors to portray the night life around the city. From the apartment building to the sky scrapers the cat roams the street feeling at home. Although the cat does not have a home he feels that anywhere in the city he will be safe and sound. The book is wonderfully written and can be easily read by children.
Jan 04, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: younger-readers
This poem follows a cat’s journey through New York. Myers’s collages include photographs and drawings of neighborhoods where he has lived in Harlem and Brooklyn. The story stimulates the reader’s imagination as the poem and illustrations explore the different paths a cat may take through the city. The tone ranges from gritty to humorous to sad, and the book captures a spirit of New York and urban life.
The Reading Countess
Mar 28, 2010 The Reading Countess rated it really liked it
Coretta Scott King Honor Award
ALA Notable Children's Book
School Library Journal Best Book of the Yr
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Yr
Blue Ribbon Book
NY Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
Parenting Magazine Reading Magic Award

This poetry book with unusual illustrations (are they photos or collage?) would make a wonderful lead in for writing poetry.
Jul 02, 2012 Ubalstecha rated it liked it
An interesting book about the life of an urban cat. The cat takes us on a journey through the city, showing the reader all the places that the cat goes.

Illustrated with photographs that have then been painted to highlight certain scenes, or to change the colours. It's an OK book, but not a must have.
Oct 06, 2010 jacky rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: preK - elementary
Awesome artwork. The illustrations are photographs that have been painted over. It really captures the city at night. The text is also very good. It is like beat poetry - not melodic and predictable like many children's books, but still very poetic and descriptive. Younger children could enjoy the artwork and the sound of the text while older children could derive more meaning.
May 18, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it
Visually striking mix of photos, painting, and collage, the imagery is well-paired with with verse and text Impact font. If you can, make sure to get he media kit version that includes Avery Brooks' reading of the text - his smooth, slow delivery with background music perfectly fills out the experience.
Jan 15, 2010 Jami rated it did not like it
Shelves: bedtime-stories
When the little ones tell you outright they don't like the story it's never a good thing. I'm not sure if it's the darkness and gloominess of the artwork or the fact I've never lived in a big city to be able to appreciate its relevance or that the story itself has a certain poetic pretentiousness but this book fell flat in almost every respect for me.
Oct 26, 2016 Carol rated it it was amazing
I picked this up because I had a beloved black cat. I used this in a mini lesson as a mentor text for writing. A black cat explores the city at night. The artwork, rich sensory detail, vivid verbs, and figurative language is beautiful. Don't let the fact that it's a picture book fool you - I am telling my middle school students you are never too old to enjoy a picture book!
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Christopher Dean "Chris" Myers is an American writer and illustrator of children's books. In 1998, Myers won a Caldecott Honor for his illustrations in Harlem. The following year, he wrote and illustrated Black Cat, a book that received a Coretta Scott King Award (2000). In addition to writing and illustrating his own stories, Myers often illustrates books written by his father Walter Dean Myers.

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