The Cat Encyclopedia

, ed. 320p. glossary. index. photos. DK. 2014. Tr $40.00. ISBN 9781409347903.
Gr 6 Up—Incorporating material that previously appeared in The Complete Cat Breed Book (2013), this coffee-table volume is beautiful to look at but will probably hold limited appeal for young readers beyond the photographs. This work is certainly thorough: all 130 internationally recognized cat breeds are featured. Before readers even reach the catalog of cats, they'll find more than 60 pages of text covering a ton of material: an explanation of what a cat is, cats in culture, feline biology, and more. Although the author takes the time to differentiate between the Pantherine (big cats) and the Felinae (the domestic cat), the focus is on cats as pets, a relationship that has been developing longer than perhaps previously realized. The book is attractively formatted, with text broken up by an easy balance of photographs and side boxes, making the experience of reading neither cluttered nor meandering. The rest of the book is devoted to "caring for your cat," which unfortunately results in the book finishing on a downer: a discussion of euthanizing aged animals. There is a lot of information to absorb, but the book's size prohibits lap reading and isn't written with children in mind. However, kids will enjoy the beautiful, large color photographs of the incredibly diverse felines represented, as much as any adult cat fancier.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA

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