Catch That Cat!

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In view of International Day of People with Disability on December 3, Tulika Publishers released a very special book that deals positively with disability – Catch That Cat! A prelude. Catch That Cat! is about a little girl looking for a cat. When her friend’s cat, Kaapi, gets lost, Dip Dip goes off to look for it – on the road, inside dustbins, behind houses, under bushes, everywhere. Tharini Viswanath’s amazing story and Nancy Raj’s exuberant illustrations delightfully capture the spirited little girl for whom being on a wheelchair stops her from nothing!

Let’s see what went in making this very special book.

The story line…

Catch That Cat! is about a girl called Dip Dip who goes in search of and rescues a friend’s cat. Dip Dip does not let the fact that she is in a wheelchair stop her from going out of her way to help someone in need. “I think this is a book for everyone. There are a lot of examples from real life where society looks upon people with disabilities as people who “cannot do things”. I wanted to reinforce the idea that being differently abled does not make a person incapable of doing things people without disabilities can do. I have worked with children with disabilities in the past, both in Chennai and Cambridge. Despite the difficulties they faced on a day to day basis, the kids were absolutely fantastic. I hope Catch That Cat captures at least a little of how amazing differently abled children can be,” tells Tharini, the writer of the book.

The illustrations…

Catch That Cat is a simple, yet strong short story about an extremely naughty and cheerful little child, who uses a wheelchair to commute. It took me about 9 to 10 months to complete this book – I got the script ages back and was stuck at the first line of the story that said “Dip Dip the naughtiest child in school”. How do I portray this child as “naughty and cheerful” was a challenge? I decided that my lines and strokes would take a big leap by breaking the stereotype of a child in wheel-chair. I wanted to capture the joy and spirit in my sketches – swinging high in the wind, playing at the pond, letting the fishes nibble her finger, whizzing against the breeze – I visualized a little cheerful girl on her wheelchair will stop at nothing!” tells Nancy, who brought the book alive with her illustrations.

“I got a chance to spend a few days with children with disabilities, mainly to capture their postures and gestures but at the same time this chance made me understand an entirely new world of simple little people, they have their own beautiful way of seeing and understanding the world. I’m glad that this book gave me a chance to realise the charm and beauty of such children in a wheelchair, I think it’s a style!” she adds.

This book is available in various languages like English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali.

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