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City Cat

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  452 ratings  ·  99 reviews
A plucky stray cat takes a Grand Tour in Kate Banks' story of a family on a European vacation. As the family travels from one city to the next, the cat finds its own means--by bus, boat, train, truck, and bike--to tag along on the trip, visiting historic landmarks like Buckingham Palace and the Cathedral of Notre Dame along the way. Readers will pore over the spreads to fi ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published November 19th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  452 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel, picture
The cat was cute, and I enjoyed the detailed illustrations of European cities, a number of which I have visited. However, the text wasn't very interesting and I'm not sure how much the average kid would get out of this. Also, is the cat the pet of the family, or just following them? If the former this is not a very safe way to travel with an animal, letting it wander all over. If the latter... uh, what?

This would be fun to buy if you are planning a multi-destination trip with children. You could
Anthony Fitzgerald
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
While I love this book because I have a black cat living in New York City, and the cat travels to several European destinations I've been to, the way the story reads is just a bit awkward. There feels like it wants to have a specific pace (rhyming or such), but then randomly doesn't, so you end up stumbling over words. I think either go with the rhyming scheme or just tell a regular story...
Kristina Jean Lareau
I like the concept of this book and I really liked the artwork. It is great for travellers, but overall it is much too long as a picturebook. I lost interest about halfway through because the narrative really just shows of the artwork of various famous cities around the world instead of applying an actual plot.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Cat Lovers and/or Would-Be Travelers
A cosmopolitan cat follows a vacationing Italian family around Europe in this charming poetic picture-book, visiting eight cities, from Marseille to Barcelona, London to Berlin. In each city he sees the sights - Notre Dame in Paris, the cat boat sanctuary in Amsterdam - and experiences the local culture, before hitching a ride to his next destination. In the end he returns, along with the Italian family's whose trip he has mirrored, to his home in Rome...

The text of City Cat reads incredibly wel
Kaethe Douglas
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While a family leaves Rome on a tour of European cities, a cat shadows their tour, popping up in all the same places. Lovely because it features less common spots: Marseille, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Munich are underrepresented in picture books. There's back matter to give a little more info on the specific sites shown.

I'd dearly love a whole series of these with cats touring all the continents, because cats.

Library copy
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
The illustrations were pretty good but the narrative was very disjointed and I think it will be weird for kids.
Sarah Easton Miller
I like the idea of studying geography and cultural landmarks with kiddos through picture books...
Jillian Heise
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
The illustrations are perfect representations of each city. Having just been in Venice, Italy this summer, when I turned to that page I felt like I was transported right back there. A wonderful journey through Europe with country flags to help clue into which country each illustration is in. Kids could have fun spotting the little boy seeing the cat in each stop on their vacation. There is a nice rhythm to the text; however, the repetition of the name "City Cat" got old pretty quick. I
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Age: Preschool-2nd grade
Travel: Europe

I'm torn about this book. I really liked the different places and the artwork. There's also a neat inside cover to mark the travels of City Cat and end papers on each landmark that City Cat visits. Kids will also enjoy finding City Cat in each picture. Unfortunately, there is no plot, no written identification of each location (except in the end papers) with a slightly jarring rhyme scheme so it gets boring really fast. I think children will start to zone it
A cat tags along with a family on a European vacation, visiting familiar landmarks, although many might have to be told about them, or even what and where they are. The text doesn't give a hint except in the illustrations, focuses in some rhyming text on the cat, where he is hiding, how he manages all those transportation types. It's a delight to see Lauren Castillo's illustrations, so recognizable, simple detail, lots of color. And, I love seeing City Cat lying up on Notre Dame Cathedral with ...more
Nov 29, 2013 rated it liked it
A cat hitches a ride with a family and travels all through Europe, enjoying a tour of famous landmarks.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read quite a bit of YA Fantasy so of course I love books with maps. This is the first time I've seen a Children's book have one! That alone makes me want to give City Cat 5 stars!

So City Cat kept popping up in my recommendations page here on Goodreads and I finally looked it up at my library and they had it so I checked it and I'm very glad I did! It was a very cute story! It would also work well adapted as a cartoon. It reminds me of all the older Nick Jr stuff.

My critiques: The rhyming was
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This book's illustrations and story in general are very cute. However, the words' cadence seems to be all over the place. It was a very hard book to read aloud with any kind of pattern in tone, not because it was written in paragraph form, but because the form seemed inconsistent. The words chosen also sometimes become tongue twisters. Probably not an ideal story time book, but it could easily be a good book for a slightly older child reading on their own.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was super luke warm for me. Definitely not a storytime option (far too long), and on top of that is just isn't very exciting. I liked the art, and I see what the author was going for, showing multiple famous landmarks from European countries, but the text itself was not something I found engaging. Even a lot of the art is pretty, but very passive.
Jennifer Heise
Feb 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, picturebook, bccls
Entertaining travel fare, with charming illustrations and maps, with our intrepid but adorable cat protagonist. Some parts were confusing (is s/he associated with the family he keeps travelling with, or not?) but still a fun read
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
3.5 Stars

I want to like this book more than I did. A great concept, just poorly executed. The poetry is nice at points, unthoughtful at others. A little hard to figure out the story of this cat as there isn't any plot, really.
Mama Suzi Moses
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful travel book! A small black city cat travels around Europe in a haphazard cat way while being a cat. Great background illustrations of famous landmarks and the cat is never in trouble or danger. Wonderful playful rhymes to read as well.
Cecily V
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mama and Daddy love remembering these places!
Erica Flory
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
very interesting adventure
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Adventurous city cat travels across Europe to take in their sights, sounds, smells, and of course to bathe and take a nap.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kiddo, fiction
Cute. The rhythm and rhymes start out weak and get stronger and that's annoying.
Jo Oehrlein
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A cat enjoys sites all through Europe. Notes at the back give details on where the cat visited.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very cute story! I like that the cat visits so many cities and you can clearly tell what each city is!
How can you go wrong with a book about a black cat touring Europe?
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This city cat sure gets around! I liked the coverage of several countries and popular sites, and the information at the end of the book.
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I love cats so I was excited to read this to my daughter. It was a bit long and repeated the words “City Cat” way to many times.
Antonio Kleber Gomes
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cute and smart, full of cookie sentences and adorable for children and adults. And I got to see so many cities in Europe that I’ve been too. It warmed my heart, especially after seeing Munich!
Kyja Wilburn
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
A cute intro to European landmarks. Images outweigh words.
Elle Sparks
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
By: Kate Banks
Summary: While a family travels throughout Europe, a city cat follows them throughout their travels. The city cat is hidden in the shadows; she admires all the monuments and places they see. City cat explores each place she sees, she is lured by scents and new places. All the while, the city cat does not know where she is headed. She finds herself on a map where she takes a long due nap.
Themes: Travel, identity, exploration, finding a place where you belong, the unknown
Star rating
Jane LoBosco
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
City Cat was a very sweet and simple book about the explorations of a cat going through Europe. I found this book rather humorous, and could really picture this little cat entering all of these wonderful, magnificent places. This stray cat follows a family on their European adventure, and we get to see how he explores the vast world around him. I really enjoyed reading this book, and thought it was a very fun and simple book that kids would love. The book exposes students to many different locat ...more
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Kate Banks has written many books for children, among them Max’s Words, And If the Moon Could Talk, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and The Night Worker, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award. She grew up in Maine, where she and her two sisters and brother spent a lot of time outdoors, and where Banks developed an early love of reading. “I especially liked picture books,” she says, “an ...more

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