Cover image for Excuse me-- are you a witch?
Excuse me-- are you a witch?
Horn, Emily.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Watertown, Mass. : Whispering Coyote, 2003.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
A lonely black cat named Herbert searches for some witches to keep him company.
Reading Level:
AD 520 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.6 0.5 72278.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.7 1 Quiz: 36114 Guided reading level: L.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Alden Ewell Free Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Holiday
Clearfield Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
Lackawanna Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Anna M. Reinstein Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Williamsville Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Herbert doesn't have a home. He doesn't have any friends, and when the weather's bad life is pretty unpleasant. Except for the library -- it's always warm, and there are lots of good books to read. But you can't live at the library
Then, while reading one day, Herbert learns that witches love pets -- especially black cats Now all Herbert has to do is find a witch . . .

Author Notes

Emily Horn was born in Syndey, Australia. She studied education and art in London. Emily worked as a pre-school teacher in the United Kingdom and Australia for over 20 years. She now lives in France with her husband and their two daughters.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The title's interrogator is Herbert, a stray black kitten who reasons-based on his research in the library-that his ideal home would be with a pointy-hatted sorceress. Searching the city, he finds three likely candidates-a lady with striped stockings, a street cleaner with a broom and a witchy-looking lady cooking over a big pot-but his question only provokes fear, ridicule or outrage. "How dare you call me a witch!" the hag-like cook says, shaking her ladle. "Scram, you wicked cat! And don't come around here again!" Despite these spikes of drama, however, the story feels static-the narrative is so literally descriptive that little momentum builds, nor does it provide Herbert with much personality. Pawlak's acrylic illustrations pick up most of the slack. His strongly geometric, off-kilter renderings and thick, luminously mottled colors take on an almost cubist sense of energy. While he doesn't picture Herbert with a wide range of expressions, the feline's huge ears, intense yellow eyes and wiry whiskers exude a winsome vulnerability. Readers may not find this a wholly compelling tale, but they'll enjoy seeing this furry hero finally meet his match: an entire school of adoring young witches. Ages 4-9. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-Herbert, a lonely black cat, takes refuge in the library since it is warm and full of interesting books. He learns that witches love black cats, so he sets off to find one of his own. He discovers that not every person with striped stockings, a broom, or a cauldron is a witch, and, in fact, may not like being asked the title question. The feline heads back to the library, where he is noticed by a class of little witches browsing the shelves, each of whom wants to take him home with her. The teacher solves the problem by suggesting that they take him to school and reassures him, "You're going to love being a witch-school cat!" Pawlak's engaging, angular paintings are offbeat, and filled with expressive detail. Pair this title with Caralyn and Mark Buehner's A Job for Wittilda (Dial, 1993; o.p.) for a storyhour about "off-season" witches and their cats or include it in a Halloween program. This cheery story of finding a place to belong will make a nice addition to most collections.-Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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