Cover image for Pawprints in time
Pawprints in time
Butler, Philippa.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
England ; New York : Viking, 1998.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
General Note:
"First published in Great Britain"--Opposite of t.p.
Reading Level:
"Ages 3-8"--Front flap of dust jacket.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Who knows if a cat has nine lives? Anna does. As she curls up with her cat at night, she hears the stories of the lives he has lived and the things he has seen, stretching back across thousands of years'from the pyramids of Egypt to ancient Rome; from the mountain temples of Tibet to the long silk road from China. Here is a stunning picture book that will make children dream of distant places, or wonder at the mystery behind their cats? eyes.Philippa Butler was born in Cyprus, but grew up in England, where she now makes her home.George Smith has been a full-time illustrator for the past twenty years. He lives in Kent, England.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. Anna's cat was "older than anyone could know," and if listeners believe, as Anna does, that cats have nine lives, they will hear Cat's unspoken message: "I am a cat with stories to tell." The stories come to life in Smith's gorgeous, photo-realistic double-page spreads, which transport readers back to ancient Egypt and Rome, China and Tibet. Rather than giving a lot of facts, the text focuses on arousing curiosity and setting the mood, with the words and pictures flowing together to create an air of mystery that opens the door for a more in-depth look at the time period or culture that Cat's stories introduce. This will be most effective as a read-aloud in a small group setting or for lap sharing. --Lauren Peterson

Publisher's Weekly Review

The mysterious myth of a cat's nine lives lurks at the heart of this well-crafted picture book by first-timers Butler and Smith. A feline shadow lingers on the elegant endpapers, hinting at the creature's elusive nature. When Anna lets a stray in her window one night, he announces, "I am a cat with stories to tell"; he then proceeds to introduce his nine lives in successive spreads. From ancient Egypt, where cats "lie buried beneath the pyramids with the Pharaohs... curled up to sleep for thousands of years" to China's long silk road to wagon trains headed West, the feline touches on events he has witnessed over the centuries. Butler tickles readers with a few choice observations but purposefully evades the details, heightening the cryptic aura of her lead character. The cadence of the economical, smooth prose makes it ideal for reading aloud, and its broad historical strokes may well inspire readers to seek out the finer points of each era. Smith's sumptuous artwork, meanwhile, bewitches with delicate brushwork that holds each whisker daintily in place; the artist plants tantalizing artifacts from each period (an ornate mummy and hieroglyphics in Egypt, a map of the silk route in China), fleshing out the measured prose. Together, author and artist capture the enigmatic essence of that eminently self-contained creature, the cat, in a quietly arresting debut. Ages 3-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-An old cat shows up and adopts a young girl who is kind to him. The animal sleeps on Anna's bed and tells her wonderful stories from the past. Whether they are the tales of the feline's past lives or dreams does not matter. The bulk of the book consists of vignettes from history. Cats, particularly black ones with white paws, are depicted in ancient Egypt, Rome, and Tibet; exploring a map of China's silk road; posing for artists during the Renaissance; on tall-masted sailing ships; and living in the American West with homesteaders and Native Americans. The textured oil paintings are beautifully rendered. No background is given for the various historical settings, so adults will need to fill in quite a few details for children who want to know the significance of each period. Other youngsters will be content to view the book as a set of appealing pictures with cats in them. Teachers could use the book to discuss the importance of animals in various cultures.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.