In the last two years, Re has been through a rainbow drawing phase and then a castle drawing phase and a butterfly drawing phase and is currently stuck at a ball-gown drawing phase, no less. In each of these phases, I saw a rather unhealthy obsession with getting the details right and repeating the process as if on loop. So when a book called The Boy Who Drew Cats landed on my lap, I realised the timing couldn’t have been better.
Published by Karadi Tales (Price Rs 150), this is a delightful little story retold from the Japanese by Anushka Ravishankar and intricately illustrated with watercolors and ink on rice paper by Christine Kastl.
It had me at cat. For those who know me, you know my obsession with cats and their absolute grace and felicity. I could have been Akiro, the boy in the story who loves drawing cats, except I suck at drawing and would take even less chances with a creature I am in awe of. But I can so foresee Re doing it.
Akiro is a little boy who draws cats. Okay, let me correct that. He draws only cats. On mud, in his rice, on rice-paper, on any surface he can gain access to. His aim is to find the perfect cat, which us cat people know does not exist, but Akiro’s parents don’t and they are worried for him. They send him off to become a priest, but Akiro spends all his time drawing cats on the temple wall. The rest of the story is about his fascinating journey through the world, with his cat drawings as constant companions and how he eventually becomes rich and famous drawing cats all over the world.
If you are a cat person, buy two. If not, buy one and gift it to a cat person.