The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street – Book Recommendation

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catsTitle: The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street

Written by Ann Redish Stempler

Illustrated by Francesca Carabelli

Published by Kar-Ben, Spring 2013

Ages: 3-8

Themes: cats, Israel, neighbours

Opening Lines:

Up and Down Ben Yehuda Street: cats, cats, cats. Cats curling up on benches and stretching underneath. Cats licking their paws on porches and climbing leafy branches.


A tale of two neighbours and two cats. This story is set in a cat abundant neighbourhood of Tel Aviv, and while not the focus of the book, the signs in hebrew and the kippa that Mr. Modiano wears all clearly depict the Jewish setting. While sixteen adorable cats grace the opening double spread, the two cats we are interested in belong to Mrs Spiegel. Well, due to the one-cat-only policy in her apartment building, Ketzie, with the collar, is allowed in Mrs Speigel’s apartment, while Gatito has to remain outside the door.

Mrs Spiegel’s neighbour, Mr. Modiano the grumpy fishmonger, has a secret crush on Mrs. Spiegel and cats, though he won’t admit it. He brings her fish every evening (for her and not the cats, mind) and always refuses her offer of tea, with a ‘lo, lo, lo’ or ‘no, no, no’. Well, no points for guessing who finds poor Ketzie when she goes missing and how this might affect the fate of both cats and both adults!

Why I like this book:

I love the warmth of this story and themes of every day life: being a good neighbour, companionship, friendship, and, of course, cats! The illustrations by Italian artist, Francesca Carabelli, are round, jovial and enhance the conviviality of the scenes. My favorite scene is late the night that Ketzie goes missing, the ‘cat-hating’ Mr.Modiano sets off on his scooter to search Tel Aviv for his neighbour’s cat! There is a definite Mediterranean feel to this book, maybe that’s why i enjoy it so much: the beach, the market, the outdoor cafés!

Ann Redisch Stampler’s website is: and as part of this blog tour, do check out an interview with her, here.

Francesca Carabelli’s website is:

Do enter the international giveaway to win a copy of the book here: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Follow the Blog Tour
Mon – March 18 – Alyson at Kid Lit Frenzy 
Tue – March 19 – Alethea at Read Now Sleep Later
Wed – March 20 – Gail at Nightengail Art 
Thu – March 21 – Danielle at There’s a Book
Fri – March 22 – Wendy at Noodling with Words
Sat – March 23 – The Cats on Ben Yehuda Launch Party at Children’s Book World, LA
Mon – March 25 – Julie Rowan-Zoch
Tue – March 26 – Joanna at Miss Marple’s Musings
Wed – March 27 – Niki at Daydream Reader
Thu – March 28 – Cynthia at Teaching in Cute Shoes
Fri – March 29 – Colby at Sharpread
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3 Responses to The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street – Book Recommendation

  1. This certainly is an appropriate book for you to review. Your review is so thorough and well written. I especially enjoyed your insights into the culture and the “Mediterranean” feel to it. Sounds like a feel-good book for kids. I know my granddaughter loves every cat book she can get her hands on.

  2. I love that cover! We went to Israel last summer and stayed in Tel Aviv. There were cats everywhere–they were like the squirrel population here in Virginia. 🙂

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