Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed
Written by Lesléa Newman
Illustrated by Amy June Bates
Ketzel was just a kitten when the man, Moshe, found her cold and lonely on the street. They became great friends as Moshe worked on his musical compositions. Moshe was stumped after he received notice of the Paris New Music Review contest to highlight short compositions – less than a minute. As Moshe pondered the music in his head, Ketzel walked across the piano keyboard and picked out a beautiful tune. Moshe wrote down what he heard. It took twenty-one seconds to play. He sent it to the contest organizers. Ketzel didn’t win, but her tune got a certificate of special mention and was played at a concert, which Ketzel attended with Moshe. Her presence was revealed when she responded to her name at the introduction of the piece. Ketzel also got a royalty check for the composition, enough to buy several cans of cat food.
The illustrator has captured the whimsy of this great story.
Based on a true story, this lovely book is easily read independently by second graders looking to strengthen literacy skills. It’s a great reminder that talent can come in small packages. That talent only needs to be recognized.