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Groundwood Books

The White Cat and the Monk

A Retelling of the Poem “Pangur Bán”

Written by Jo Ellen Bogart • Illustrated by Sydney Smith

For kids 4 - 8 years old | Published July 14, 2020 | ISBN 9781773065595
JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Europe

Cover of The White Cat and the Monk

Regular price $16.95 CAD

36 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

The White Cat and the Monk

A Retelling of the Poem “Pangur Bán”

Jo Ellen Bogart • Sydney Smith

A monk leads a simple life. He studies his books late into the evening and searches for truth in their pages. His cat, Pangur, leads a simple life, too, chasing prey in the darkness. As night turns to dawn, Pangur leads his companion to the truth he has been seeking.

The White Cat and the Monk is a retelling of the classic Old Irish poem “Pangur Bán.” With Jo Ellen Bogart’s simple and elegant narration and Sydney Smith’s classically inspired images, this contemplative story pays tribute to the wisdom of animals and the wonders of the natural world.

About the Creators

Jo Ellen Bogart

Jo Ellen Bogart was born in Houston, Texas, and received degrees in elementary education and psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She has written many children’s books, including The White Cat and the Monk, illustrated by Sydney Smith, a Governor General’s Award finalist and a USBBY Outstanding International Book. Her picture book Jeremiah Learns to Read, illustrated by Laura Fernandez and Rick Jacobson won the Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Award, and Gifts, illustrated by Barbara Reid, won the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award and was selected for IBBY’s Honour List. Jo Ellen lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Sydney Smith

Sydney Smith was born and educated in Nova Scotia, Canada. He graduated from NSCAD University and has since illustrated children’s books for multiple authors and received awards for his illustrations, including the Lillian Shepard Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. Sydney lives and works in Toronto.

Awards and Praise
The stylized artwork captures the timeless beauty of the poem in this simple yet meaningful picturebook, highly recommended.
  • Short-listed Governor General's Literary Award, Young People's Literature – Illustrated Books, 2016
  • Commended Quill & Quire Reviewer Pick, 2016
  • Commended Brain Pickings' Best Children's Books of 2016, 2016
  • Commended NCTE Notable Poetry List, 2017
  • Commended CBC Best Books of 2016, 2016
  • Commended SLJ's Best of 2016, 2016
  • Commended The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books, 2016
  • Commended Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices List, 2017
  • Commended The NP99: The Best Books of the Year, 2016
  • Commended USBBY's Outstanding International Books List, 2017
The White Cat and the Monk The White Cat and the Monk The White Cat and the Monk