Meowvelous Show
by Katya Romanoff
Trafford Publishing

"Mama-cats have lots to do;
Housework and chores are never-ending.
They want to make time for everything,
And sit around with their girlfriends."

A group of five mama-cats gets together for a girl chat session, eating delicious fish kindly supplied by Jewel, and “purring out their tales.” Dancer/diva Sapphire boasts about her restaurant job; modest Ruby quietly counts the stars; Krista, a nurse, grooms herself carefully. Schoolteacher Alma, exhausted, finally shares her sad news: the school is falling down. What can be done for the kittens? The five felines decide to put on a show to raise money. But just outside, two ruffians—Super Totik and Marcus Ripped Ear—overhear their plan. Envious and resentful of the pretty mama-cats, they resolve to spoil it. They tear down ads, and are caught in the act of stealing one of the newly sewn costumes. They pretend to behave at the mama-cats’ big show—a dazzling success with music, dance, and acrobatics—but one last attempt to ruin the proceedings results in the perfect punishment: the two mischief-makers will help build the new school.

Undoubtedly one of the most remarkable features of this big, bright creation is its bilingual presentation. Romanoff’s poetic composition appears in Russian and the appropriate alphabet on one side of each open page, with English translations by Svetlana Mitchell on the facing page. This large, dual formatting gives well-deserved scope to Veronica Korneyeva’s charming cartoons, with each mama-cat depicted through distinct features, coloring, and costumes. The panoramic pictures follow the story faithfully and imaginatively, with the mischief-makers caught out by large patrolling dogs providing a particularly enjoyable example. The author is a poet of the Russian language and teaches English as a second language to children in grades K-8. Her love of both endeavors shows clearly in this delightful work that will certainly appeal to readers young and old for its cross-cultural aspects, positive message, and respect for all animals.

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