|About the Book|
I love this book. I love. This book. I am vaguely horrified that I’m in my mid-twenties and have just now discovered what would have been, to little-age-eight me, the greatest thing ever written. It has authors and actors and cats who can walk through their own dreams, and lost rings, and evil poodles, and features the following conversation between Hamlet the Algonquin Cat, and a grandfather clock:The clock spoke up.“Mnrhuonng!” it scolded.Hamlet studied the inscrutable silver and gold face, thinking that it stared at him reproachfully.“Mnrhuonng,” it continued in a sorrowful tone, dourly wagging its pendulum.“Meditative demigod who speaks but one word,” Hamlet murmured politely, “you had no use for the scroll, and he did.”“Mnrhuonng.”“Today I am in the mood to find things, and it was a mnrhnh thing to find.”“Mnrhuonng!”“Please accept my profound apologies.” (79)Notice, friends, some of the briliant vocabulary words sprinkled in there. Inscrutable. Dourly. Meditative. And that’s just in one short little section! Schaffner also throws in esthetes, and effete and truculent! And pensive, and sinuously, and sublime and balefully, and glissandos and presage and efflorescence and delineated and languorously and resplendent and tintinnabulation, and insouciance and saturnine, neither of which I actually knew the definition of, forcing me to race across the house singing, “Where is my dictionary? I need to look up words from a children’s book!”And accompanying all these fantastically delicious words were equally fantastically delicious illustrations, which were so perfectly realistic that I got a little worried about Hilary Knight. (omg luv u Eloise 4evah!) Clearly, he locked himself in a small closet with fifteen different breeds of cat and every guest who ever set foot in the Algonquin, until he could imitate the subtle nuances of their personalities. Best. Illustrations. Of all time.The only sad note here is that my library doesn’t actually carry a copy of the book – I had to have it shipped in from elsewhere in the state. Apparently kids take one look at the super-old-looking cover illustration and run for the hills. Reprint it, publishing houses! Reprint it with a sassy, Warriors-esque cover! Think of the children! And the aforementioned twenty-somethings! And anyone who has ever liked cats, or Shakespearean actors, or advanced vocabulary words!