At the Drop of a Cat (Hardcover)
With lush art by two-time NYT Best Illustrated recipient Violeta Lópiz, a picture book about a boy and his larger-than-life immigrant grandfather, who shares with him the kind of learning that’s not taught in classrooms.
★ A New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2023! ★ A NYPL Best Children's Book of 2023! ★ A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2023! ★ A Marginalian Favorite Book of 2023! ★ A 2024 USBBY Outstanding International Book!
At six years old, the child-narrator of this picture book loves nothing more than spending time with his grandpa, Luis—especially in his marvelous garden, where green beans reach as high as the sky. Luis’s garden is where the little boy practices reading and writing. But just as importantly, it’s also where he learns wonderful things from Luis, like the names of all the birds in the trees and new expressions that are so much fun to say. Luis's playful vocabulary is as vibrant and full of life as his garden, and phrases that are particular to his way of talking, like "at the drop of a cat" (which means right away), are soon adapted into the little boy's lexicon, too.
A talented cook, artist, and gardener, Luis has much wisdom to impart and many experiences to share with his grandson—even though, as a war refugee, he never went to school himself and never learned to read and write. A loving testament to the intergenerational transmission of knowledge and the breathtaking beauty of the natural world, illustrated with evocative, multilayered art by Violeta Lópiz.
Élise Fontenaille is a French author and former journalist who lives and works in Haute-Loire, France. She writes for children and adults across a variety of genres and formats, including picture books, novels, science fiction, historical fiction, literary fiction, and crime fiction, and has received numerous French literary awards. At the Drop of a Cat is her first picture book, and the first to be translated into English.
Violeta Lópiz is a Spanish illustrator currently living in Peru. She has illustrated numerous books, including The True Story of a Mouse Who Never Asked for It (a New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2021) and The Forest (a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2018). El Cultural, the supplement of El Mundo, considers her one of the top ten names of contemporary Spanish illustration.
Karin Snelson is a Seattle-based book editor, reviewer, writer, and translator, specializing in children’s and young adult literature. She has served on a Newbery Medal selection committee, on an ALA Notable Children’s Books committee, and on a 2022 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominating committee through USBBY. She is the co-translator of the French picture book Jerome by Heart, which won a 2019 Batchelder Honor; At the Drop of a Cat; and You Can't Kill Snow White.
Growing up in a French, Chinese American family, Emilie Robert Wong attended school in the French national education system before studying Comparative Literature and Neuroscience at Harvard College. She is an associate editor with Enchanted Lion.