Blue Ethel by Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Blue Ethel

Ethel is old, she is fat, she is black, and she is white. She is also a cat who is very set in her ways...until the day she turns blue!...

Title:Blue Ethel
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0374303827
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:40 pages

Blue Ethel Reviews

  • Michelle (FabBookReviews)

    , written and gloriously illustrated by

    , is a sweetly surprising story about an old black and white cat who experiences changes while out on her day-to-day activities. One of the most unusually drawn, vivid and adorable (huggable) cats I have seen recently in picture books, Ethel is a creature of habit. As we learn, Ethel does the same few things every day: she looks out over the land (from her spot on the porch); closely watches the weather and clouds (from a

    , written and gloriously illustrated by

    , is a sweetly surprising story about an old black and white cat who experiences changes while out on her day-to-day activities. One of the most unusually drawn, vivid and adorable (huggable) cats I have seen recently in picture books, Ethel is a creature of habit. As we learn, Ethel does the same few things every day: she looks out over the land (from her spot on the porch); closely watches the weather and clouds (from a lovely grassy hill); and goes after nefarious creatures (look out for the ants!). One thing that Ethel also loves to do is explore the sidewalk and roll around on it before falling asleep. But one day, Ethel rolls down the covered-with-colourful-chalk-drawings sidewalk and turns the colour blue! Ethel, of course, cannot see that she now looks different- different from her usual self and quite different from the other cats in her neighborhood. Ethel finds her mood turning to match her new blue colour as the other cats whisper about her new, funny colour. Luckily, a brave little white cat named Fluffy comes to Ethel's rescue with an idea of how they can be happy and colourful together.

    is a story that emphasizes acceptance, friendship, kindness and empathy; the turns of humour, quiet bursts of quirk and the illustrations make the story so lively and one that kids (and cat lovers!) might especially clamor for. Jennifer Black Reinhardt does such a wonderful job here with the full-page dynamic illustrations and straightforward storyline and text that makes just the right use of repetition. I have had the pleasure of reading this story aloud with my daughter- who is quite obsessed with Ethel and Fluffy now- and she and I both love the story's tranquil, diverting nature and deserved happy ending.

  • Barbara

    Like many of us, Ethel is set in her ways and not interested in veering from her routine or doing anything out of the ordinary. After all, she's an elderly cat who has earned the right to just chill out and enjoy her day. But one day when she goes about her business, she rolls across a sidewalk that is covered with colorful sidewalk chalk, and the black and white cat turns temporarily blue. The other cats remark on her extraordinary color, and she feels a bit embarrassed. In fact, she hides indo

    Like many of us, Ethel is set in her ways and not interested in veering from her routine or doing anything out of the ordinary. After all, she's an elderly cat who has earned the right to just chill out and enjoy her day. But one day when she goes about her business, she rolls across a sidewalk that is covered with colorful sidewalk chalk, and the black and white cat turns temporarily blue. The other cats remark on her extraordinary color, and she feels a bit embarrassed. In fact, she hides indoors until she spies another cat, Fluffy, whose white fur is pink. She decides that it is safe to venture out, and the two cats enjoy their time together. The illustrations capture Ethel's personality perfectly while the text might make readers think about taking risks or not getting hung up on how different they might look. My favorite images show Ethel chasing villains, an ant colony going about its business and the later one in which Fluffy and Ethel are after those same villains, having knocked askew a pot of geraniums. Young readers will get a kick out of the various colors that these cats take on and are sure to notice the details in some of the illustrations, for instance, the double-page spread of Ethel's home that features a cat head as a mailbox and various discarded cans of cat food in the recycling bin. I had to smile at how the illustrations show how proud Ethel was as she pranced along the sidewalk, not worried about being fat and old. The book brought to mind how my own cats have behaved through the years whenever anything new was introduced or when they had to have their fur shaved. I remember one beloved cat, Copper, my very first feline, who hid behind the curtains for days once she had been shorn, apparently embarrassed by her lack of fluffy fur. There's a great message in this humorous book. While it has been said that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, perhaps you can teach them to a feline.

  • Kathryn

    Oh, Ethel has tiny feet and a big body and an adorable smile. She loves to roll on the sidewalk and when it is covered in blue chalk she turns blue. Such a cute story and wonderful illustrations.

  • Rachel Watkins

    Ethel is a sweet cat who is set in her ways. When she finds herself colored blue because of a roll in sidewalk chalk, she begins to see the world in a whole different light. Delightful.

  • Sandy Brehl

    Ethel the cat is a charmer, confident in her persona: big, old, fat, and black/white. Her routines are firmly set, to the extent that she is unaware of a potential friend in her richly detailed world. This story incorporates a lovely use of "feeling blue", has a clever and equally charming kitten who comforts and becomes a friend to Ethel, and a delightful conclusion that invites discussion of peer pressure, acceptance, and diversity in an amusingly circular scene. There are so many quirky visua

    Ethel the cat is a charmer, confident in her persona: big, old, fat, and black/white. Her routines are firmly set, to the extent that she is unaware of a potential friend in her richly detailed world. This story incorporates a lovely use of "feeling blue", has a clever and equally charming kitten who comforts and becomes a friend to Ethel, and a delightful conclusion that invites discussion of peer pressure, acceptance, and diversity in an amusingly circular scene. There are so many quirky visual details that young readers will peruse it for hours on end.

  • Julie

    Fun picture book about self-acceptance and self-confidence. Ethel the cat is very set in her ways and has the same routine every day; when she accidentally rolls in sidewalk chalk and becomes "Blue Ethel," she's disappointed until another neighborhood cat changes color also and they embark on Ethel's routine together, eventually becoming gloriously "colorful." The story is cute, but the detailed illustrations, with so much to look at in each scene, are what will really endear this picture book t

    Fun picture book about self-acceptance and self-confidence. Ethel the cat is very set in her ways and has the same routine every day; when she accidentally rolls in sidewalk chalk and becomes "Blue Ethel," she's disappointed until another neighborhood cat changes color also and they embark on Ethel's routine together, eventually becoming gloriously "colorful." The story is cute, but the detailed illustrations, with so much to look at in each scene, are what will really endear this picture book to young readers - especially those who love cats and their independent spirits!

  • David Johnson

    Delightful!

  • Tasha

    Ethel is a cat who is old and fat. She is black and white and she has a routine to her days. She first surveys the land from her porch. Then she watches the weather. She chases insects and then explores the sidewalk where she has a favorite square where she likes to roll. But one day, someone has used chalk on the sidewalk square and when Ethel rolls on it, she becomes blue! The other cats look at her very strangely and Ethel runs home to hide. The next morning, Ethel feels blue and licks hersel

    Ethel is a cat who is old and fat. She is black and white and she has a routine to her days. She first surveys the land from her porch. Then she watches the weather. She chases insects and then explores the sidewalk where she has a favorite square where she likes to roll. But one day, someone has used chalk on the sidewalk square and when Ethel rolls on it, she becomes blue! The other cats look at her very strangely and Ethel runs home to hide. The next morning, Ethel feels blue and licks herself into blue stripes and white stripes. Another kitten is outside waiting for her and he is pink! The two together do Ethel’s routine with a colorful change at the end.

    Reinhardt shows in this picture book that even old cats can learn colorful new tricks. Ethel is a wonderful look at the familiar routines turned on their heads. Her life is filled with simple pleasures that make her feel powerful and in charge. But that is all changed with one color. Still, Ethel also shows that while change may be hard, it isn’t impossible.

    The illustrations are silly and quirky. The area that Ethel surveys each morning is filled with fake animals like deer, flamingos and one large rhino. It takes what we see as normal lawn ornaments one step farther into farce. Ethel herself is rather odd looking and therefore quite delightful as a character.

    A look at colors, changes and resilience. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

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