Cover image for Opera cat
Opera cat
Weaver, Tess.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
32 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
When the opera diva Madame SoSo gets laryngitis, her singing cat Alma fills in for her.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 65849.
Added Author:
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



From a brand-new author-illustrator team comes a humorous, heartwarming story about a special relationship between a cat and her owner. Alma the cat lives with Madame SoSo, an opera diva. When Madame rehearses, Alma softly sings along. Madame doesn't know Alma's secret--in fact, she doesn't pay Alma much attention at all. But on the night of the big performance, Madame comes down with laryngitis . . . and at last Alma is given a chance to prove she is no ordinary animal. Accompanied by vivid, detail-filled illustrations, this story will resonate with anyone--feline or human--who has ever longed for a moment in the spotlight.

Author Notes

Tess Weaver is the author of Opera Cat and Cat Jumped In! She lives in Iowa City, Iowa. For more information visit

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. Never has La Scala seen a more triumphant (albeit more duplicitous) debut. Having come down with laryngitis just before an impending performance, Madame SoSo is astonished and delighted when her cat Alma stands up, singing «Caro nome che il mio cor!» in «the voice of an angel, the voice of a devil. The voice of the stars and the moon, the oceans and the forests . . . so beautiful . . . so much like her own!» The rest is operatic history. Just as Madame SoSo wraps Alma up in her towering hairdo before making her grand entrance, so too, does Weaver wrap this droll tale in flights of vivid imagery--nicely set off in Wesson's simple watercolors. Even readers who know little about opera will find it hard to resist the regal but down-to-earth looking diva and her crumple-whiskered Siamese understudy. Brava! Bravi! John Peters.

Publisher's Weekly Review

In first-timer Weaver's exuberant tale, a quiet cat on an ordinary Saturday gets her moment in the sun. Each day, Alma hides behind the window curtains and practices along with her Italian opera singer owner. Wesson's (Not Just Another Moose) energetic black line and watercolor wash in velvety tones of aqua and scarlet capture the intensity of the Milan streets. From her window, Alma watches a mother fish her son out of a fountain while passersby purchase flowers, bread and other treats from shops along a cobblestone street. How the feline yearns to leave her apartment and experience the Milan outside her window! On opening night of the opera, Madame SoSo contracts laryngitis, and Alma sees her chance. The cat begins singing, and "Madame SoSo had never heard anything so lovely, so beautiful... [a voice] so much like her own!" Readers may guess the denouement, but that doesn't detract from the fun. Wesson's illustrations show the feline tucked into the diva's wig as she takes the stage, then scenes of the inseparable duo as they gallivant about town. Madame cuts a ridiculous figure early in the story, but redeems herself by warmly acknowledging Alma's role in her stage triumph. A delightful star-is-born story. Ages 5-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Madame SoSo is an opera star who practices every afternoon with the maestro. What the two don't realize is that behind the curtain, Madame's cat is singing along sotto voce. Alma, with her unruly whiskers, frizzed at the tips as if she had stood too close to a flame, loves opera and knows the words to all the songs. When the star develops laryngitis, her caroling cat comes to the rescue. In order to perform without the audience knowing a feline is "Figaroing," the cat hides in Madame SoSo's spire of curls. After Alma saves the day, she attends every opera, on the off chance that her talents will again be required. The softly rendered watercolors, some with a decidedly skewed perspective, admirably tell the tale. Madame's love of flowers is reflected in the patterns of her rug, wallpaper, and clothing, and the illustration of Alma, singing her little heart out with her front paws clenched, is delightful. Children will be charmed to see a cat earn her 15 minutes of fame, even if it's done under wraps.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.