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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat is a memoir and tribute to a special cat written and illustrated by Leyla Atke. When she first saw Charm, he was huddled in the middle of heavy traffic. During a brief lull in the traffic, Atke rescued the dirty little kitten and carried him to a safe place. Then she realized he would probably wander off into traffic again and took him home. She bathed him and found, after all the dirt had washed away, that he was a lovely, blue-eyed kitten with sleek, black fur, who grew up into a magnificent black cat.
Leyla Atke's Charm: An Amazing Story of a Little Black Cat is a lovely and evocative tribute to a beloved pet. The story is beautifully told, and the illustrations are masterful; sometimes primitive, sometimes very reminiscent of folk art, but always very powerful. Memoirs of this type can be overblown and excessively sentimental; however, Atke's narrative remains clear and calm, and engaged this reader from the first lines to the concluding words. Atke shows her gift of being first and foremost a storyteller. Her words and art are simple yet imbued with love and expression. This is a special book, and one I would not hesitate to recommend to those who are privileged to share their lives with animal companions as well as those who haven't been...yet. It's really quite a remarkable work and a story I won't be forgetting any time soon.