I have spent an inordinate amount of time mooning over the New York Review of Books' catalog of beautifully designed "Children's Collection" reprints. So I was happy to get my hot little hands on their edition of Paul Gallico’s classic cat tale of 1950, The Abandoned—long one of the most sought-after out-of-print books in America (it was published in the U.K. in 1951 as Jennie).
A book to be savored—and perhaps to read aloud to a fortunate young 'un—it's a remarkable feat of literary alchemy combining a picaresque journey, friendship, and cat lore in the most delectable proportions. “Many adults have sought over the years to recall the strange, emotionally rich adventure told in The Abandoned,” Meghan Cox Gurdon wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “It is these readers—and bookish current children ages 10 and older—who will most appreciate the book’s handsome reissue.” The Christian Science Monitor wrote that “poetry and fantasy so skillfully impregnate the story that a parable of haunting wistfulness emerges.”
Substantiating Gallico's dictum that "kittens can happen to anyone" is one of our new arrivals: Strays by Arne Svenson. From a ragtag collection of shelter cats captured on quilts and coverlets, the photographer has made art that respects both the idiosyncracies and the fierce autonomy characteristic of felines.