The White Cat and the Monk

The White Cat and the Monk

A Retelling of the Poem "Pangur Bán"

Book - 2016
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After spending a night studying his books, a monk reflects on his life and finds that he and his cat live equally simple lives, both in constant pursuit.
Publisher: Toronto : Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press, 2016
ISBN: 9781554987801
Characteristics: 32 p. ; color illustrations ; 28 cm


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Nov 07, 2019

This beautiful picture book serves a reminder that the simplest things can inspire us, and there is always light in the darkness.

Jan 21, 2019

The description sounds so grand, but the story is... well just not there. Few words. Expect to have to piece together what's happening from dreary simple black & white shaded drawings. I didn't get it as an adult, and my children certainly couldn't follow - much less have an interest. Nothing could be learned from this.

bibliosara Jan 26, 2017

In this sweet and fantastically illustrated retelling of the classic poem "Pangur Ban", a monk finds companionship with a cat who shares his room. As the monk searches for meaning in the world around him, the snowy white cat inspires him in his quest for truth. Bogart's adaptation is a heart-warming tale for audiences of all ages, and Smith's illustrations truly bring this ancient poem to life.

forbesrachel Jan 20, 2017

A white cat sneaks into a monastery where awaits her friend, an aged monk. Both have their own job, but through carefully placed image that switch back and forth between the two, and a reflective words, a comparison is made. One is a hunter of rodents, peering into the dark to catch them, the other is a seeker of knowledge, peeking into a more metaphysical darkness through the power of illuminated manuscripts. A wordless opening establishes the tone as quiet and contemplative, and this persists once the book's minimalistic and soothing text starts up. The story is further enhanced by the art with its almost calligraphy like inks, earthy palette, and deep shadows. The White Cat and the Monk is Bogart's and Smith's retelling of the poem called Pangur Bán, which was written by an anonymous ninth century Benedictine monk. Overall, their take is beautiful in word and form, thoughtful, and accessible to children.

ArapahoeStaff2 Dec 10, 2016

This picture book was so moving. I love that the illustrator was able to take a old, beloved poem, and turn it into such a loving story of the cat and the monk.

cmlibrary_rkimray Apr 11, 2016

I marvel at this poem, more than a thousand years old, written by a monk who paused to write about the joy and peace he finds in his work. Joined with watercolor and ink illustrations in a graphic novel layout, on a parchment-like background, it is now a lovely, thoughtful picture book.


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cmlibrary_rkimray Apr 11, 2016

The story of the monk and his cat can also be seen as a timeless tale that has played out again and again all over the world wherever a person is at work accompanied by a beloved pet. --from the Author's Note.

cmlibrary_rkimray Apr 11, 2016

Pangur does not disturb me at my work, and I do not disturb him at his.


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cmlibrary_rkimray Apr 11, 2016

cmlibrary_rkimray thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 12


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