Children’s

The Cats on Ben Yehu­da Street

Ann Redisch Stam­pler; Francesca Cara­bel­li, illus.
  • Review
May 17, 2013
Who lives on Ben Yehu­da Street in Tel Aviv? Lots and lots of cats! Mr. Modi­ano, the pro­pri­etor of the Tel Aviv Fish Palace isn’t a big fan of the fur­ry crit­ters. But Mrs. Spiegel, who lives next door to him in his apart­ment build­ing, is crazy for them. The apart­ment building’s one-cat rule means she can only have one feline friend liv­ing with her; still, that doesn’t pre­vent a sec­ond cat from hang­ing around near­by. And while neigh­bor­ly Mr. Modi­ano brings Mrs. Spiegel a fresh fish to eat every day, the con­stant pres­ence of the two fluff y ani­mals lead him to turn down her dai­ly invi­ta­tion for tea. Lo, lo, lo,” he says polite­ly in Hebrew; no, no no. Then Mrs. Spiegel’s cat goes miss­ing, and Mr. Modiano’s loy­al­ty and friend­ship shine through. The sto­ry is qui­et and sim­ple — and utter­ly charm­ing. The illus­tra­tions, equal­ly charm­ing, help give a nice win­dow into every­day, urban Israeli life. A good read-aloud choice. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 3 – 8.

Discussion Questions