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Black Cat

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  172 ratings  ·  54 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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Community Reviews

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Sarah Landwehr
"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
Georgia Karr
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 27, 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
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
David Cheng
veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ...more
Kimberly Hirsh
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
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
Alondra Munoz
This book was about a black cat that roams the streets because he doesn’t have home and people wonder if he has a place of his own, but his doesn’t because anywhere he roams is his home. I didn't really like this book, it didn't really grasp my attention. It was an easy read though so there's that.
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.
Leah Koch
Apr 29, 2015 Leah Koch added it
Shelves: poetry
This beautiful story written in the form of a poem follows a cat through the city streets. I like it because it shows students how one poet finds beauty in everyday things. I hope it inspires my students to do the same.
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
significance of the title, genre or subject
readers' 1-2 sentence annotation
A fascinating outlook on NYC. The illustrations are strange and somewhat paralyzing. But definitely worthy and cool.
The kids thought the illustrations in this book were better than the story.
Loved the illustrations/photos! The life of a city cat!
Pat Marrujo
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Samantha Weatherford
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.
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.
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.
Dec 14, 2013 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an interesting, but gritty tale, a fluid narrative that is almost a rap about where a black cat lives. The illustrations are a combination of photos and drawing that is odd, but effective. The colors are dark and the storyline is not so much depressing as a stark reality of life on the streets. I thought the book was pretty interesting, but I doubt our girls would like it very much.
The Reading Countess
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.
Oct 06, 2010 jacky rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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.
Picture Book. Interesting story about a cat roaming the streets of Harlem and Brooklyn.

The illustrations are made with a mix of photographs, collage, ink, and gouache. The illustrations were a little dark and mysterious. The text reads almost like poetry. Children fourth grade and younger may enjoy this 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.

More about Christopher Myers...
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