Cross-Country Cat

by Mary Calhoun

Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Award 1979

ISBN 0-688-22186-6 (Trade edition)
ISBN 0-688-32186-0 (Library edition)
ISBN 0-688-06519-8 (Paperback)

Facts about the book:
1979 Published by William Morrow
1979 Published by Junior Literary Guild
1980 Published by Yugaku Sha, Japan
1980 Published by Victor Gollancz, Ltd., London (retitled "Snow Cat")
1982 Published by Raben and Sjorgren, Sweden
1991 Published by Sun Ya Publications, China
2002 Published by Liblio Shuppan Ltd., Japan (Hardcover)

Here is a picture book with rhythm, the rhythm of a cross-country skier swinging through snowy meadows. In this instance, however, the skier is a sassy Siamese cat named Henry. He is some smart cat and, among many accomplishments, is good on his hind legs. Henry's emergence as a cross-country skier occurs abruptly when he is inadvertently left behind at his folks' mountain cabin. There, ready to be used, are the skinny skis and poles that the Kid had made in an earlier attempt to interest Henry in the sport. Henry had thought the idea crazy then, but now it becomes his only way out. Disgustedly he take his first few faltering steps, perseveres, and soon is skating on his skis, waving his tail to the beat. What happens to Henry on his memorable trip home makes a story that begs to be read aloud. Author and artist, cross-country enthusiasts themselves, have turned this amusing conceit into a high-spirited tale that almost convinces one it might have happened.

Reviews

by Mary Calhoun "Ingraham's earthy tones provide some beautiful lighting effects for the soft-focus drawings. They interpret the story well, summoning up absolute involvement with both the desolate setting and the drama of Henry's ordeal. Fresh in both concept and execution." - AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION BOOKLIST

"Competing with the author's tale in verve and artistry are Ingraham's snowy scenes in exactly the right shades of blue, sepia and gray, set off by glaring white."
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"The author of the well-known KATIE JOHN series has come up with a beautifully illustrated solid seller selected by the Junior Literary Guild."--AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS

"Magnificent...."-- WASHINGTON POST