Not a Cat
Not a Cat

Not a Cat

By Winter Miller


Publication Date: March 1, 2022

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Ages 6 to 8, Grades K to 3

A funny, expansive, affirming story with a powerful message of self-determination for young kids: No one can label us if we do not allow ourselves to be labeled. Our identities are ours to choose and to live.

Between his opening greeting and the bookend closing page on which he stalks away after taking no questions, Gato wants to make one thing perfectly clear: Although he has four legs, two ears, and a long, long tail, the word “cat” does not define him. His identity is his alone to describe and determine. With the help of Danica Novgorodoff’s laugh-out-loud illustrations, he takes us on a tour of his adventures, accomplishments, and daily activities that makes mincemeat of our first impressions. He wears a sweater and a leash, so is he a dog? He runs in pastures, so is he a horse? He likes flowers, so is he a bee? He swims, so is he a duck? He has flown in airplanes and ridden in subways, so is he a person? Maybe he’s all those things, but what he truly is, he wants us to know, is Gato.To underline the story’s message of empowerment and self-identity, the back cover and backmatter include photos of the real Gato (Winter Miller’s cat) doing everything he claims and more. Signs on walls, headlines in newspapers, New Yorker cartoon homages, and sight gags on every page reward repeated readings and will make this book the first one that parents reach for at bedtime.

About the Author

Winter Miller holds an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia and has taught playwriting at The New Group, The New School MFA, Primary Stages: ESPA, Columbia, SUNY Purchase, and Queens University. Her plays are produced nationally and published by Samuel French, Random House, Playscripts, and Smith & Kraus. A former journalist, she was a researcher for op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof for four years and a freelance reporter for the New York Times from 2005 to 2009. Her play In Darfur, which she wrote after accompanying Kristof to Sudan, won the Two-Headed Challenge from the Guthrie Theater and The Playwrights Center. She created "Full Frontal" while working for the Full Frontal with Samantha Bee show. Winter is a New York Foundation of the Arts Playwright and a founding member of the Obie award-winning 13Playwrights. She wrote, directed, and produced her drama No One Is Forgotten to raves and sold-out houses in 2019. She has created theater with youth in Palestine and with marginalized LGBTQ teens in NYC. With Voices of Uganda, she went to war-torn northern Uganda to write for youth in an IDP camp, chronicled in the documentary After Kony: Staging Hope. She has written 70+ articles for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Boston Globe, and Variety. Winter is profiled in The New Yorker, Bomb, New York Magazine, NPR's Brian Lehrer, and Minnesota Public Radio among others.Danica Novgorodoff is an artist, writer, and graphic novelist from Brooklyn, NY and Louisville, KY. Her graphic novel Long Way Down (Atheneum; adapted from Jason Reynolds' novel) received starred reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, BCCB, and Booklist, the latter saying this: "Far more than just an illustration of the events of the novel, Novgorodoff's iteration powerfully cultivates the tone and mood of its source material, demonstrating just how effective and artful comics can be." Her other graphic novels include The Undertaking of Lily Chen, Refresh Refresh, and Slow Storm from Macmillan, and the self-published A Late Freeze. Her art and writing have been published in MoMA Magazine, Best American Comics, The Believer, Artforum, Esquire, VQR, Slate, Orion, Seneca Review, Ecotone Journal, The Arkansas International, and others. Danica's works in progress include a graphic novel on climate change (MacMillan, in collaboration with journalist Meera Subramanian), a children's book on the explorer Alexander von Humboldt (Penguin Random House), and a book on rice (Flatiron Books; in collaboration with Harlem chef JJ Johnson).

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers

Publication Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 9780884488798

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