The Rabbi’s Cat

by Joann Sfar
ISBN: 0375422811

This book contains three stories about an Algerian Rabbi and his cat. The character you as reader are aligned with is the unusual feline — he talks.

Yes, the cat talks: out loud even, in words people can understand, at least part of the time. Among other things, he argues that he should have a bar mitzvah. The cat is a keen observer of human behavior, though he doesn’t always understand it. As a result, the stories touch on many major themes (faith, love, pride, history, family) but don’t offer definitive answers — something that makes them more satifying than if they did, I think.

The art here is unusual, veering between fairly realistic sketching to more fluid, energized images, and packed with details. Everything is in full-color, printed on thick, glossy pages. Pantheon doesn’t skimp on production quality.

If you like quietly odd short stories, you’ll probably like this book. It would make a good introduction for folks who haven’t tried or don’t think they like graphic novels, but do like stories. Recommended.

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