Friday, November 20, 2015

Children's Book:KETZEL the CAT who COMPOSED by Lesle'a Newman, "Based on the true story of a very talented cat"

"We are surrounded by miracles if you can only perceive them"

"Moshe was a composer.
Every morning he composed himself
by sitting very still.
He listened outside himself
and listened inside himself,
just as his teacher had taught him
when he was a little boy.
When he was done listening,
Moshe turned all the wonderful sounds he heard
into beautiful music"

Moshe Cotel is a composer who lives in a noisy building on a noisy street in a noisy city. One day as he strolls down the street he finds a little kitten. (Which he names "Ketzel"  which is "Kitten in Yiddish.")  He takes her home, telling her they will “make beautiful music together.” Truer words were never spoken. One day, Ketzel strolls down Moshe’s piano keyboard, Moshe writes down what he hears, enters the composition into a contest, and the rest is history! Based on a true story, Ketzel will delight both cat lovers and music lovers alike!

Why Lesle'a Newman wrote this book
I first learned of Ketzel’s story in a note that my Rabbi wrote for our synagogue’s monthly newsletter. Curious, I researched Ketzel’s story and found out many interesting things about her: she had six toes on each foot, and lived to be nineteen years old. She attended a performance of her composition and even received a royalty check! I am a cat-lover and a music-lover and as soon as I learned Ketzel’s story, I knew I would write a children’s book about her.

The REAL "Ketzel"
FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY: It is an enormous pleasure to present this beautiful and endearing story to you today. From the moment I gazed at the cover, I knew that this book was going to be special.

KETZEL the CAT who COMPOSED by Lesle'a Newman  is a wonderful tribute to a most amazing and remarkable friendship. 

The illustrations by Amy June Bates are gorgeous, and for me evoked a European "old world" feeling, They are the perfect companion to this delightful book that exudes charm from every page.

Not only will children learn about the touching, sweet, TRUE and  incredible relationship between a composer and his cat, but they will learn that sometimes the things that seem the most impossible to accomplish, are easier to accomplish than we think, if we just "compose" ourselves, listen, and be open to all that is inside and outside of  us.

It teaches children that sometimes the most beautiful things, (in this case, music), can be created by the most unlikely of sources!

Be sure to add this one to your holiday gift list!

Picture book format/hardcover. 40 pages

age range:
5 yrs - 8 yrs
grade range:
Kindergarten - Grade 3


Lesle'a and Princess Sheba Darling

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:LESLE'A NEWMAN is the author of more than sixty books   for readers of all ages, including The Best Cat in the World, illustrated by Ronald Himler, and Hachiko Waits, illustrated by Machiyo Kodaira, as well as several other books about cats and dogs. She is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Cat Writer's Association and the Dog Writer's Association. Her awards are too numerous to list! She lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:AMY JUNE BATES has illustrated more than forty books for children, including Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan and The Dog Who Belonged to No One by Amy Hest. Her work has been honored by the Society of Illustrators. Amy June Bates lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

In full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of KETZEL the CAT who COMPOSED by Lesle'a Newman, in exchange for my always honest review.


  1. I've heard so many lovely things about this book!

  2. Oh, this book sounds wonderful! And I am absolutely in love with the cover illustration as well!

  3. This one sounds wonderful, too! I will add it my list. My daughter is almost 10, but I bet she would still enjoy this book.

    1. It is wonderful! It is quite short...but the fact that the story is true (and remarkable), and the exquisite illustrations makes it perfect for all ages!!

  4. This seems to be one I will ask mommy to buy! She does whatever I say. xoxo

  5. Oh Miss Caren and Cody this sounds like a really charming book! Thanks for the review....

    Hugs, Sammy

  6. That sounds like such a wonderful book. I know I would enjoy it. What a great story. Caren and family, you all have a fantastic Friday.

  7. Sounds like a wonderful book. Love the cover.
    Sue B

  8. That's just adorable and so is that keyboard cover!!!

  9. Love the cover. Wow, and what a great read this would be. What an amazing cat too.

    Have a purrfect day Cody. My best to your mom. ♥♥♥

  10. That sounds like a lovely book. Purrs

  11. Sounds like a pawsum book.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

  12. We hadn't heard of this book before so thank you for the review!

  13. This looks like a great book. I want to read it even though I am an adult. :)

  14. What a charmer that book sounds to meowmy. She has a big box full of all the cat storybooks she and pawppy used to read to our unfurbros when they were wee ones...she can't bear to part with them...and sometimes she still even adds to them...maybe fur grand-unfurs?? MOL!
    This one sounds like one she needs to add...oh, my yes! Our older unfurbro took years and years of piano lessons:)

  15. Wow, this book sounds positively magical, Caren! Thank you for sharing about it with us. The cover illustration is lovely!