Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Review: I Like Cats (And You Should Too!)

"Fat cats, brat cats, grinning cats, sunny cats, cats with scowls and cats with jowls.."

Described by the publisher as a book, "That will delight art lovers, cat lovers and artsy cat lovers!" I Like Cats by Anushka Ravishankar & Various Artists is a picture book for both adults and children all about the diversity and loveliness of cats. Featuring a gallery of "irresistible feline characters from some of the best-known tribal and folk artists of India," I Like Cats succeeds in bringing together the quality of a hand made product with the accessibility of a widely available book.

What really sets the book apart for me, is the handmade bookmaking process that takes place before it ends up in your hands. When it arrived at my house, a seal indicated that it had been "silk-screen printed and bound by hand, on handmade paper." I felt like I was unwrapping a special gift as I carefully removed the cellophane wrapping!

Knowing all of the work that goes into it makes it feel a lot different than just any old book you would pick up at the store. Flipping through the pages, the quality and craftsmanship is evident. The paper has a substantial thickness to it, and the vibrantly colored screen printed kitties are irresistible! (I was particularly taken by the prints done in red.)

I Like Cats is a product of Tara Books, an independent publisher based in Chennai, South India. I was intrigued by the idea of a company that produces a high volume of handmade books, and was happy to read in the literature I received that, "The handmade book workshop is run on fair trade practices, and the workers live together as a community." Furthermore, Tara prides itself on creating items that are "affordable for an average book buyer," while "supporting a sustainable community enterprise."

As an added bonus, the hardcover limited edition also comes with your very own framable screen print. The book already feels like a mini piece of art on its own, so it's nice to have the option of moving a print out of the pages and onto your wall without feeling guilty! Mine came with a bright orange variation of the "Slow cats" image seen above!

Overall, the book would make a nice treat for yourself, or the artsy cat lover in your life. More than just a simple picture book, it's something you'll discover new details in with each viewing, and will want to go back to admire in the future.

I Like Cats is available now at bookstores everywhere, and online at Amazon or

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book to review, but the opinions expressed are entirely my own.



Oskar said...

It looks like an adorable book!

Nubbin wiggles,

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

What I think I would like the most is that it isn't a traditional "coffee table" kind of a book....but as you said..."a piece of art"...I love how certain books "feel" different...that is why I am having huge difficulty embracing the concept of totally lose the tactile experience

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