The Artist Who Loved Cats: The Inspiring Tale of Theophile Steinlen

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 6 Jun 2019 | Archive Date 29 Jun 2019
Inner Flower Child Books | Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles

Talking about this book? Use #TheArtistWhoLovedCatsTheInspiringTaleOfTheophileSteinlen #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


The Artist Who Loved Cats: The Inspiring Tale of Theophile Alexandre Steinlen is a picture book biography of the artist who created the iconic Le Chat Noir cabaret posters. Steinlen moved to Paris in 1881 to pursue his creative dreams, ultimately creating more than 700 journal illustrations, famous posters, sculptures, cartoon strips, and paintings. Many of Steinlen's artworks feature cats, his favorite subject. More than just a biography, The Artist Who Loved Cats is a celebration of art, inspiration, and following your heart to create a life that you love.

The Artist Who Loved Cats: The Inspiring Tale of Theophile Alexandre Steinlen is a picture book biography of the artist who created the iconic Le Chat Noir cabaret posters. Steinlen moved to Paris in...

A Note From the Publisher

book illustrator: Courtenay Fletcher /
Epub: 978-0-9711228-7-1

book illustrator: Courtenay Fletcher /
Epub: 978-0-9711228-7-1

Marketing Plan

Book Blog Tour & Giveaway, NetGalley and Early Reader Review Program, Keyword Advertising, Library and School Marketing, Regional Book Tour, Museum Outreach, Social Media Advertising, Goodreads Giveaways

Book Blog Tour & Giveaway, NetGalley and Early Reader Review Program, Keyword Advertising, Library and School Marketing, Regional Book Tour, Museum Outreach, Social Media Advertising, Goodreads...

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780971122888
PRICE US$17.95 (USD)

Average rating from 80 members

Featured Reviews

This is an utterly beautiful book both linguistically (in the rhythm of the text) and visually (with the stunning images). It tells the store of Steinlen and the famous black cat as well as the process of his creating from childhood through to adulthood. It is a book which will be enjoyed by children and parents alike and I would highly, highly recommend it for all ages from 0 (as it has bright colours and a strong rhythm to the text) through to 10 years of age to stimulate their interest in creativity.

Was this review helpful?

A big thank you to NetGalley and Inner Flower Child Books/Independent Book Publishers for the ARC. I am voluntarily reviewing this book. This is a children's fiction/biography. Nicely done, the story welds information about the artist in a unique and compelling way. Engaging and beautiful graphics. 5 stars!! I loved it.

Was this review helpful?

This is a gorgeous picture book full of colourful, bold illustrations and rhyming lyrical text.

I wanted to read this based on the cover alone- I know it goes against the Don't Judge a Book by its cover adage but it is a lovely cover and I found myself drawn to the historical aspect of it as well.

Antoinette, travelling with her baguette, pops into Monsieur Arvieux's Antique shop after spotting something new in the window. She has clearly visited before and listened to the stories about the items in the shop. It is a wonderful shop full of treasures and charms from history. "Each thing has a past, each place has a history", such a beautiful line from the story. Antoinette sits down to listen to the tale of the cat statue and finds herself drawn into the history of France in the late 1800's when artists and musicians found Paris was the place to be. Steinlin, a superb illustrator of everyday life, is always happiest when drawing cats. He studies fabric design to earn money but always comes back to cats. He realises his dream when he illustrates for a popular artist magazine and over time his work becomes historically recognisable, even today.

Monsieur Arvieux is a loveable grandfather type character who takes the time to care for the items in his shop and learn of their history and story. He clearly loves to share their stories.

I enjoyed learning more about Steinlin and I absolutely loved that it was told in rhyme and in picture book format. It could become a wonderful series, in which we learn of other artists and musicians who came to Paris throughout history. It is an excellent way to introduce art, artists and their lives and history to a younger generation.

I was captivated by the book from start to finish. The illustrations are simply gorgeous, full of bright bold colours and they really bring the story to life.

One to read and enjoy over and over again.

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely adored this book. Written in a rhyming style for children, this picture book tells the story of Theophile Steinlen who was the famed artist of the French “Chat Noir” posters. The illustrations are wonderful! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Telling the story of Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, the artist famous for his Chat Noir cat illustrations, this picture book will please young readers who love cats. A young girl sees a bronze cat in a shop, enters, and hears the story from the shop owner (and from the cat). I enjoyed the illustrations. A little more biographical information is presented after the main part of the picture book. I received an advance copy through NetGalley with the expectation I would write an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Wonderful story about Steinlen’s life (the artist behind le chat noir) with beautiful illustrations that fits perfectly with the artists story. Great story I love lechat noir it’s one of my favourites abc I never knew that much about the artist, great for adults and children

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion

Was this review helpful?

This book is just so lovely and the illustrations are enhanced by rhythm of the rhyming text. It is a picture book biography of artist, Theophile Steinlen. Steinlen is the artist who created the iconic Le Chat Noir cabaret posters. This beautiful book celebrates art, and inspiration to follow your heart to achieve your personal dreams.

This is a fun way to learn history, art, antiques and the life of an interesting artist.
While I don’t think it will be a book your patrons will clamor for, it does have a definite place in the biography/art collection for elementary and middle school children.

Was this review helpful?

The audience for picture books concerning antique French poster designers must be small, but the charm of this one does make me hope it breaks that mould. Nice rhythms and strong rhymes (apart from "crayon" and "man") help convey the story, which was very pleasantly told. Vivid and active double-page spreads allow space for the story, so at most you get twelve lines of verse per page, and the moral of having a regard for antique things and a curiosity that will make the world better through the resulting art is not forced upon us. I hope the child heroine can go back to the fabled antiques store soon. A strong four stars.

Was this review helpful?

All History books and lessons should now be written in this form and with cats included. 😻

As a visual learner, more of these type of books would have helped me a lot as a child. I'm glad children today have a wide variety of resources and books. 💕📚

***Thanks to Netgalley and Inner Flower Child Books / Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) for the review copy.***

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this title. I feel like this biography of Steinlen was made to be incredibly relatable for younger readers. Biographies for children are tricky as it is often difficult to get children interested in history and people of the past at a young age. By starting the story with a little girl viewing trinkets in an antique shop window, the author and illustrator make Steinlen's life relevant to children. Sprinkle in talking, storytelling cats and a man that loves cats so much they appear in his artwork at all angles and you have the makings of a wonderful picture book biography.

Received as an ARC from NetGalley, Inner Flower Child Books, and IBPA in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

A gorgeous book. Great use of language and rhymes both memorable and accessible. The biography of the artist is rendered in an easy to follow manner but includes the main details of the story, and also useful background information.
The images are gorgeous, encapsulating well the story, Steinlen's art, and the atmosphere of the era.
The final capsule-biography allows for a straightforward reading experience, and the activities will ensure children can enjoy the story in multiple ways and play together.
A fantastic storybook.

Was this review helpful?

This book was great. I loved the rhythm of the words (particularly the little bits with the rhyming french and english translations) and the art was gorgeous. My son is 1 so I was a little concerned he wouldn't be interested but it was the perfect length for an afternoon story and he was entranced the whole time. I fully plan on purchasing this when it comes out and requesting my local library does the same.

Was this review helpful?

This is an extraordinarily charming book. The illustrations are delightful and evocative. The text is rhyming. Young readers or listeners will learn about Steinlen, the artist who made the iconic Le Chat Noir posters. He studied textiles but realized that fine art was his calling. Steinlen encountered many other famous artists during this exciting time in French art.

At the end of the book, there is additional biographical information on the artist. There is also a section on objects that young readers can go back and search for in the text.

I enjoyed this lovely trip to France. Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

It was so great to see a book about Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen. I have had a Chat Noir poster for over a decade and I love it. The large black cat is a presence in our office, and it would not feel like the same space without it.

The book is a children’s book about a girl who is interested in a cat sculpture in an antique shop. Upon entering she learns about the famous artist from a cat that knew him.

This was a very cute way of telling the story, the modern little girl and the talking cat telling her about the artist. There were flashbacks and the text had a rhyming scheme that worked nicely. The illustrations included not only new images for this book but also replications of the artists work for the eyes of the younger readers.

It was very well done and I learned a lot about he artist that has had a place on my wall for over a decade. If your young one likes cats this book is full of them but it is also educational.

Was this review helpful?

An inspiring and simple tale that is a must for kindergarten classrooms interested in garnering interest in reading through simple stories.

Was this review helpful?

A beautifully illustrated, rhyming story. Antoinette learns the history of Theophile Steinlen’s artwork from an antique store cat.
Any parent wishing to expand their child’s knowledge of international artists would be wise to add this book to their home library.

Was this review helpful?

Exploring art and cats might seem a little odd, but this books allows your children to do just that! Together you will step through the life of Theophile-Alexandre Steinlein.

Kids Will Love Exploring Art and Cats
Every page is a chance to explore. You and your child will hunt for all the cats hidden in the pages. At the end of the book is a section that reveals a few objects, in addition to all the cats, that you child is challenged to find in the previous pages.

The publisher even has additional activities for your child to explore! You can download a free cat puppet here on their site, and there is also a really cute excerpt from the book on YouTube.

The story is laid out as a picture book telling the life of the artist and his loves. The pacing is perfect for reading aloud to younger children, but the book provides enough content to inform and engage older children who can easily read on their own.

Was this review helpful?

An inspiring delight to read. Stunning illustrations are paired with the extraordinary true story of a great artist. And it rhymes! It achieves the perfect trifecta of children's books. I could read this 100 times and never tire of it.

Was this review helpful?

Gatti, gatti, gatti nelle illustrazioni famosissime di Théophile-Alexander Steiner: un artista che non molti conoscono di nome, ma di cui tutti hanno visto le opere, senza saperlo. Pubblicità, poster (fra cui quella iconica del club Le Chat Noir, appunto), vignette, copertine che hanno segnato un'epoca e regalato la notorietà a una artista mite e intelligente, devoto all'arte e allo studio della vita e della gente comune, che riproduceva con fedeltà nelle sue opere.

E poi i gatti: creature agili e misteriose, compagni di vita, numi tutelari che hanno accompagnato l'artista dai suoi difficili inizi nella vibrante Parigi di fine Ottocento fino al successo, impensato e duraturo: cinquantasei pelosi portafortuna che bazzicavano la villetta di famiglia, portando affetto e ispirazione.

E la sua vita raccontata in rima, grazie alla curiosità di una bambina e alla statuetta di un gatto, con un testo brillante e meravigliose illustrazioni.

Was this review helpful?

This is the perfect beautiful elementary school book. The illustrations are gorgeous, full of color and details. The words having a rhythm that gets stuck in your head.

I love that you’re also getting a history lesson and a good moral about using your talents to stand up for what you believe in. I think it’s a great way to expose children to a little bit of culture, history, art and a foreign language without overwhelming them.

Thank you to NetGalley and Inner Flower Child Books for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book, I'm so glad I got the chance to read it. I was already a Steinlen fan and I love the idea of a story book explaining the work and life of an artist. I read it with my children as a bedtime story, aged 3 and 7 and they both enjoyed it. My youngest was taken with the story and the cats, my eldest enjoyed learning about the artist and the inclusion of French. I'd highly recommend it and would happily buy more books like this.

Was this review helpful?

A lovely book against the setting of Montmartre, Paris.
It tells in a simplified manner the engaging life of a young artist who moved to this vibrant place and fashioned for himself a style that is somewhat typical of graphic design and poster art of its time.
Crammed with his contemporaries and reproductions of his work this biography of Steinlen is a joy to read.
The story is further enhanced by the use throughout of rhyming couplets that interest and delight.
Designed for a young active mind this short book will be a firm favourite for children and their parents.
With a muted colour palette of gentle pastel shades the illustrations only build on the reading pleasure.
The beauty of such works is they demonstrate far more than the facts and figures of a life. It shows inspiration, dedication and determination to get on and succeed. It shows the value of objects, a pictorial history and obliquely even has time to identify the integrity to use influence and fame to speak out against societies ills in the references to Steinlen’s anti war stance.
A living book to search the pages for references to the artists work and associates that will keep the experience live and rewarding. Hopefully too it will inspire young people to follow their dreams and visit Paris for themselves.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: