Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Cat From Hunger Mountain” as Want to Read:
The Cat From Hunger Mountain
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Cat From Hunger Mountain

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  414 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Caldecott Medalist Ed Young delivers a story about humility, wastefulness, and appreciating what one has.

In a place called Hunger Mountain there lives a lord who has everything imaginable yet never has enough. To satisfy his every desire, he hires builders to design the tallest pagoda; a world-famous tailor to make his clothing from silk and gold threads; and a renowned
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Philomel Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Cat From Hunger Mountain, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Cat From Hunger Mountain

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  414 ratings  ·  107 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Cat From Hunger Mountain
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
You know this is going to be a different kind of book when you open it up and see the dedication. Instead of dedicating this to a friend or family member, Ed Young writes:

the strange virtue in deprivation,
an unwanted and the least understood gateway
to humanity and life's riches.

Mmmm, highly excellent.

The book deals with a rich cat who lives high on a mountain, way above everyone else. Lord Cat wears the finest clothing of gold thread. He eats lavish meals.

When Lord Cat's servants asked if
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
On Hunger Mountain, there lived a great lord who was wealthy and had anything he ever dreamed of. He lived in the tallest pagoda, had his rice washed in the stream, ate only the first half of his food, and wore the most beautiful fabrics. Then drought came to his land, yet the lord did not stop his consumption. A second year of drought and famine came and the others left his land. The lord finally realized he would starve alone in his pagoda so he left the mountain and tried to find food. When ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
There once was a wealthy lord who had the best of everything -- food, clothes and home. A drought happened and the servants left for the city. During the second year of the drought, the Lord left his home to beg for food. He met two beggars who said they knew a monk who gave out food. The next morning, they left and stood in line to receive a bowl of rice. When the Lord asked the monk where he got such fine rice, the monk said there was a wealthy lord who wasted his rice when his servants washed ...more
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing

A beautifully illustrated tale of greed and waste that turned into humility and recognition of blessings.

Share & ENJOY!
Dec 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 2nd-6th grade
Shelves: picture-books, fables
I liked the telling of the tale which reads as if it were a traditional fable. A rich, greedy and somewhat cruel lord discovers he is only truly blessed when he becomes impoverished and receives aid from a monk who shares the lord's previously wasted food. The collage artwork is beautiful but also busy and confusing at times -- it can be difficult to distinguish the characters and discern the landscape, etc.
Dec 05, 2016 rated it liked it
I loved the story, but a lot of the illustrations were hard to decipher. You can definitely tell a lot of love went into the collages, but that's about all I can peel away from them.

The story had a wonderful message of being careful with resources and the main protagonist was well developed (and well matched with species, being a cat and all).

Overall, I liked the book a lot, but I would have rated it higher if the illustrations had been a little easier on my eyes.
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautifully illustrated and moving tale of greed and waste. While the moral of the story can come on a bit strong, this fable can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
What a wonderful tale this was about a wealthy, greedy Lord Cat who finally fell on hard and learned a valuable lesson. Had it not been for the illustrations which were collaged together and I had a hard time deciphering, I would have given this children’s book 5 stars.

In this book, the Lord Cat had everything he could possibly imagine, although he felt like it was never enough. After having the strongest workers construct him the tallest pagoda, he lived high up on Hunger Mountain, looking down
3.5 out of 5

The Cat From Hunger Mountain is a fable about greed, wastefulness, and things that matter most in life. Its dedication is brilliant:
"To the strange virtue in deprivation, an unwanted and the least understood gateway to humanity and life's riches."

Ed Young's patterned paper and photo collage illustrations are artistic and full of texture and varying perspectives, though at times they might be a little bit tricky to decipher (in such cases it really helps to look at them from a
Heydi Smith
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-one-on-one
Incredible! This story should be on everyone's reading list. Think of the greed it could prevent.

Lesson: be happy with what you have and a little can be just what you need.
Ruth Woodman York
3.5 stars. I needed to read two picture books for my Children's Literature class. I picked this one, simply because the recommended one by the same author wasn't available. It was an interesting fable about cat who is rich, and has all he could ever hope for, but yearns for still more. When he is brought low by a severe drought, he learns the lesson, of waste not, want not. And also to appreciate all you have. The illustrations aren't as bright and cheery as many children's books. However, the ...more
The mixed media collage illustrations in this lovely picture book are simply stunning and filled with textures and images that invite lingering exploration. I suggest reading the book for the story--a fable with an important lesson for all readers--and then spending additional time savoring those images. But then again, I simply adore the work of Ed Young, and never can get enough of it. Each time I look at an image, I notice something more, something I would expect would be the case for many ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mr. Young brings his deceptive simple storytelling and beautiful collages to this story of a greedy and indifferent cat lord. When famine strikes, even the rich aren’t immune and this tom learns a painful lesson about waste and entitlement when he’s beset with hunger.

The illustrations are just gorgeous, with cut-out details that give a three-dimensional feel to a two-dimensional surface. Along with the collages are artful watercolors of misty horizons and pictures of rocks, sky, waterfalls,
Niki Marion
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another apt book to read the day after the inauguration.

I love these collages. They're not the easiest to decipher, but sitting with them and spending time uncovering the details is a joy.

Young's choice of servant animals is deliberate and thoughtful: mice, "the strongest workers," build the greedy lord cat's tall pagoda and remind me of Art Spiegalman's metaphorical anthropomorphizing of cats and mice in MAUS.

A heavier picturebook for sure, which is reflected in the color scheme. Young uses
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all humans but especially greedy ones in power
Ed Young's collage art is breathtaking -- somehow both timeless and ancient, universal and still evoking a sense of place, with a fable that reads like a long-treasured folktale. Unfortunately, I am not so knowledgeable about my world folktales, so I am not sure if this is based upon one of those or if it is the creation of Ed Young's marvelous storytelling. Regardless, this is a good lesson for readers about greed and about the precarious balances of power. A good book for reflection. Should ...more
Juliana Lee
Lord Cat lived at the top of Hunger Mountain. His servants washed his rice in the river wasting half of what they washed. When he ate, he sent back bowls of rice because they were half empty. Eventually, all the rice was gone and all the servants left. Lord Cat was left alone and starving because of his greed. When he finally ventured to the bottom of the mountain he joined the line of hungry people who received a bowl half filled with rice. Lord Cat asked where the rice came from and learned ...more
I loved the story, which was a memorable little fable about greed, deprivation, and when to know that enough is enough. The paper collage illustrations are colorful and beautiful but difficult to follow. The story is very appealing but I'm not sure that a young audience would appreciate it. This is one of those picture books that definitely have appeal for adults. A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book for 2016. 3 1/2 stars.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
In the tallest pagoda on Hunger Mountain, Lord Cat indulges in a sumptuous lifestyle. But when drought and famine strike, Lord Cat is forced to leave his lofty palace and search for food. The artwork is arresting and slightly abstract; Young's mixed-media, collage-style illustrations propel a deceptively simple fable that gently celebrates generosity while cautioning against wastefulness.
Interesting illustrations. A folk tale about a rich emperor who becomes a beggar after years of being rich. Starving, he hears of a kind monk who feeds the starving and comes to realize he has been fed with the food he wasted when rich.
A wealthy landowner (portrayed as a cat) only appreciates what he had, and wasted, after it's gone. The collages are interesting, but one in awhile visually confusing. It takes a while to locate what you're looking at.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lord has everything imaginable but never enough. When drought plagues his city, he is left with nothing and taught a valuable lesson about greed and want.

Could be great for spoken word storytelling.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cats, fairy-tale
So, it was good that he wasted the food, right? Because the drought wasn't his fault. I'm not sure what we're supposed to get out of that. Might be too zen for me :). I liked the story, but the art was not to my taste.
Debby Baumgartner
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legends, china, poor, droughts
A lord of Hunger Mountain is never satisfied with what he has. One day after a long drought, he too is poor and without food. Will some one help him in this Chinese tale.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fable told in simple text but stretch the reader's understanding of human behavior.
Collage illustrations are a bit dark and busy, but stretch the reader's imagination.
Dec 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Great story, but very little ones may have trouble making sense of the illustrations. Best for early elementary.
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Chinese tale about a greedy rich "cat" brought low. Did not care for the very final page of ending.
Dark collage pictures have interesting textures.
Miss Sarah
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
a lord cat wastes his food until his mountain can no longer grow any more and his people leave him. Will he ever learn his lesson? Pictures are collage style. Preschool and up.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Using stimulating paper collage and concrete words, Mr. Young presents a fable about greed and generosity.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I loved the story, but found the illustrations...hard to follow. Definitely not good for sharing with a group of any size. Too bad, as I do usually enjoy Ed Young quite a bit.
Karen A.
Always eager to see Ed Young's work. This is not my favorite but it is still a great addition to his library of fables retold artfully with mixed media collage.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Bear Report
  • The Stuff of Stars
  • How to Read a Book
  • A Day So Gray
  • Tomorrow I'll Be Brave
  • Big Brown Bear's Cave
  • One Hundred Sausages
  • The Wide-Mouthed Frog: A Pop-Up Book
  • Crankenstein
  • If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed
  • Misunderstood Shark
  • Get Out of My Bath!
  • When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson
  • The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes
  • The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
  • I Hate My Cats (A Love Story): (Cat book for Kids, Picture Book about Pets)
  • Secret Pizza Party
  • Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
See similar books…
Ed Young is the illustrator of more than eighty books for children, seventeen of which he has also written. Among his books is the Caldecott Medal winner Lon Po Po, which he both wrote and illustrated. He says that his work is inspired by the philosophy of Chinese painting. He lives in Westchester County, New York.