Book Review: The Cat at Night (Ipcar)

The Cat at Night

Author / Illustrator: Dahlov Ipcar

Publisher: Islandport Press (2008) [Originally released in paperback by DoubleDay, 1969]

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Subgenre: Animals, Cats

Reviewer: Sara

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“Join the farmer’s cat on his fascinating nighttime journey through fields, farms, forests, and even the city to see what only he can see after the sun sets. Legendary artist Dahlov Ipcar mesmerizingly alternates between dark night scenes and vivid color to deliver a beautifully illustrated children’s classic.”


The Cat at Night is a delightful book for the busy mom to read (with kids). From the fields to the town, the farmer’s cat will take you on a journey of all the wondrous things to be seen and excitement that awaits after nightfall. After all, who hasn’t wondered what adventures your cats have while you sleep?

The story in The Cat at Night is a simple, yet marvelous. Ms. Ipcar introduces concepts that are sure to be new and fascinating to young readers such as night vision and nocturnal creatures. For older children, there are other details woven in that they begin to notice and inquire about, like why one animal hunts for another. We follow the cat on his adventure around the farm, through the woods and to the town before he makes his way home in the morning, ready for a catnap. It reads with an easy rhythm and the story winds down in a manner that helps focus little one’s attention on winding down for bed.

A review of The Cat at Night would not be complete without some discussion of the artwork! It is, in a word, beautiful. On one page there are darkened, shadowy images of what a human might see on this adventure, juxtaposed with bright, colorful pictures to show how a cat would see it. From the first reading, this book earned “favorite” status with mom and kid, as I expect it does in most households where it’s introduced!

Have you read The Cat at Night? Or other books by Ms. Ipcar? How would you review it?

Happy trails and may the good books be plentiful!

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