Cover image for Night cat
Night cat
Beames, Margaret.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Orchard Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
At first, Oliver the cat is excited about staying out all night in the fascinating garden, but then unexpected adventures leave him ready for his indoor cushion.
General Note:
New Zealand ed. has title: Oliver in the garden.
Reading Level:
AD 390 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.7 0.5 70835.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.2 2 Quiz: 33506 Guided reading level: J.
Added Author:
Added Title:
Oliver in the garden.
Format :


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

On Order



The simple and evocative tale of an intrepid cat's adventures on one dark night in a spooky, moonlit garden.

Oliver the cat lives in a house with a garden, a garden full of light and shadows, full of things that dance and flutter; a garden that comes to life in the moonlight and tempts the young cat to stay outside all night. And so he does. But Oliver's excitement soon turns to fear as he encounters the mysterious and scary sights and sounds of the dark garden. The garden is dark and wet and lonely -- and home is safe and dry and warm. Suddenly, Oliver decides that his owner might be frightened, too, and that it's his duty to go inside to comfort her. And so he does.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Oliver the cat usually comes inside when his owner calls him at nightfall, but tonight he's determined to prowl the garden rather than sit by the fire with Mrs. Bundy. And who can blame him? New Zealander Beames's opening lines spell out the allure of the garden, "full of light and shadows,/ .../ full of things that danced and fluttered,/ leaves and moths and trees./ It was exciting." Hitchcock's (Emily's Wonderful Pie) digital illustrations turn those lines of text into an understatement-and often overshadow the rest of the narrative. The nocturnal world she creates for the self-possessed feline to explore seems to exist at the intersection of the gothic and psychedelic. She drenches her spreads in black and deepest violet, adding flashes and splashes of white and turquoise for a kind of black-light poster effect. She frequently fractures time, showing orange-eyed Oliver on a spread at different stages within a single thread of action. And she renders everything larger-and scarier-than life: a huge owl, with raptorial eyes and razor-like talons and beak, swoops down on a screaming Oliver while in pursuit of a mouse; an opossum with bright orange eyes and a pink snout threatens to jump out of a tree and land in readers' laps. Oliver himself ultimately lands safely in front of Mrs. Bundy's fire ("I wasn't really scared but she'd be lonely without me"), but the book's frightening visuals may haunt young readers after the covers close. Ages 4-7. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Night Cat follows Oliver through a shadowy garden filled with tempting things to chase and hunt. He enjoys devouring moths and eluding his owner, but there are creatures about that are far more menacing than he. Touching a porcupine hurts; an owl and an opossum are huge and terrifying; and when a hard rain begins to fall, Oliver begs to come back inside. Hitchcock's deep, dark artwork, created entirely on a computer using Photoshop 3.5 and Painter 5, nevertheless appears deceptively organic. Only the cat's glowing amber eyes and contrasting shafts of white and yellow light illuminate the eerie nocturnal images. Scenes of Oliver's nighttime playground coupled with his cat's-eye-view narration result in a hauntingly ambient picture book. Exquisite art design and painstaking attention to detail are evident. The story concludes with Oliver asleep by a fire that blazes just brightly enough to ward off the darkness consuming the book's last, jet-black page. On a par with such classics as Marcia Brown's Shadow (Scribner's, 1982; o.p.), this import from New Zealand promises to bewitch American picture-book readers.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.