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parsed(2017-09-01) - pubdate: 10/17
pub date: 1504242000
today: 1713243600, pubdate > today = false

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The Cat Came Back

September 1, 2017 | Children's hardcover
ISBN: 9781770859296
Reader Reward Price: $17.96 info
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One of three new titles in the Firefly Books - National Film Board of Canada partnership, this rollicking, award-winning tale will captivate young and old alike.

Old Mr. Johnson has a problem.

He lives a solitary and peaceful life, alone on top of a hill surrounded by nothing but the sounds of his own tuba playing and portraits of his mother. That all changes, however, when a cat mysteriously shows up on his doorstep.

What begins as a pleasant surprise quickly leads to trouble as the cat breaks Old Mr. Johnson's one prized possession: the antique baby rattle he played with as a boy.

With the burgeoning friendship tarnished by the loss, Old Mr. Johnson sets out on a journey to the forest to rid himself of the unwanted cat.

But, the cat comes back.

Each successive attempt to get rid of the cat only provides Old Mr. Johnson more anguish as the cat continues to come back ("the very next day"), successively destroying more of Old Mr. Johnson's belongings in the process.

Ultimately the cat drives the Old Man to the brink of insanity. So much does he want the cat gone, that he's willing to destroy everything he owns, even if it means putting his own life at risk.

Does Old Mr. Johnson ever truly free himself of the cat? You'll have to read to find out!

The Cat Came Back was nominated for an Oscar in 1989 and won 16 awards, including the Genie for best animated short. It continues to be one of the National Film Board's most loved and requested films. For information on the National Film Board of Canada visit

About this Author

Cordell Barker is an award-winning animator whose films include the critically acclaimed Strange Invaders and Runaway, as well as 2016's If I Was God. Barker lives in Winnipeg where he can be found playing tennis when not animating.

ISBN: 9781770859296
Format: Children's hardcover
Pages: 48
Publisher: Firefly Books
Published: 2017-09-01


The illustrations...oh the illustrations! They're hilarious.

Rollicking good fun... Barker's bold and colourful illustrations drive the cartoon action forward... At a time when everyone's on the lookout for the next film adaptation of a hot new book, it's a treat to see the tables turned and these short films poised for a literary encore.

It's no surprise, and indeed it's a pleasure to see that the NFB has released Cordell Barker's animations in picture book format to keep the feline's legend alive for another generation of young children... Children will love the look of old Mr. J's distress, his extreme expressions, the way Barker illustrates his ridiculous decisions... Barker's text can be read by adults or by capable early readers. It's fun and humorously suspenseful... Parents and teachers can read this incarnation of The Cat Came Back and use it along with Fred Penner's recording and the NFB animation to brand this silly song into young children's consciousness forever. And that would be a good thing! Highly Recommended.

The story of Mr. Johnson's attempts to get rid of the little yellow cat has been nicely adapted to the picture book format. The colourful drawings are taken from the animated originals and relay the humour of the cat's slow escalating destruction of the Johnson home and build up gradually to the farcical dramatic end just like in the film.

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