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.