Annthelibrarian's Reviews > The Rabbi's Cat

The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar
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's review
May 02, 2010

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bookshelves: animals, fiction
Read in May, 2010

A graphic novel by the well-known French comic artist, who won a prestigious award for this book. The cat, whose name is not mentioned, belongs to the rabbi and his daughter who live in Algeria in the 1930’s. One day the cat swallows a parrot and suddenly he’s able to speak. He decides he wants to be educated in Jewish law and to have a Bar Mitzvah. This cute (but adult-themed) story about a smart aleck cat and the rabbi and his family acquaints us with Jewish culture as well as the other cultures of the time in Algeria (Arab and French). It also tells the tale of the rabbi, his worries about keeping his position, the marriage of his daughter, and a trip they all take to Paris (the cat goes too, of course). The illustrations are rather squiggly with lots of small lines of dialogue. At the end of the book is a picture of the artist and his own cat; the cat in the story looks very much like the author’s cat.

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