Well, so this book has always been in my family's basket of Christmas stories, even though to some its connection to the Advent and Christmas season might seem a little tenuous. But bear with me! The story of The Painter's Cat concerns Micio, the spoiled kitty who belongs to an Italian painter. Micio is a little miffed when his owner ignores him in order to concentrate on a painting. Micio decides to head out on his own, but soon realizes that he misses the life of an artist's cat. When he returns home, he discovers that he has been given a prominent place in his owner's painting -- his owner must have missed him, too!
Our cat-loving family was tickled by this kitty's-eye view of the creation of a real Renaissance painting: Micio takes center stage in Lorenzo Lotto's The Annunciation. And that's where the Advent part comes in; this painting depicts the moment when Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel, who tells her what God asks of her.
Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God's favor. Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end. (Luke 1: 30-33)
See! That's pretty Christmas-y!
Our copy of this gorgeously illustrated storybook came from the sunny girl's godmother. We have loved it ever since -- and every time we read it, we think of our dear Lou. So that makes it double fabulous!