Teaser and the Firecat
Cat Stevens ~ Bernard Jacobson, 1972
I was in elementary school when I first saw Harold and Maude, via VHS on a machine rented from the video store. (Remember those days? Bringing the machine home in its heavy plastic case and trying to figure out how to hook it up to the TV? Ha! My sisters and I would rent a movie and watch it over and over until it was time to return the machine. That's how we saw The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension nine times in a weekend. I can still, to this day, quote line after line of the dialogue. Home is where you hanga your hata... Hey, hey, hey, hey-now. Don't be mean; we don't have to be mean, cuz, remember, no matter where you go, there you are... Sealed with a curse as sharp as a knife. Doomed is your soul and damned is your life... but I digress, as usual.)
I saw Harold and Maude at an age when I was hugely impressionable and just starting to question and explore the world. The film had a profound impact on me, and quickly became one of my all-time favorites (greatest love story EVER told), filled with the sounds that what would eventually become the soundtrack of my young adulthood. Just thinking about that movie and those songs will give me goosebumps and misty-eyes into tomorrow. Soooo, you can imagine my delight when I stumbled across this book, written and illustrated by Cat Stevens, based on the characters from the cover of his classic album by the same name.
Man, do I wish I knew how this book came about, if it was created in conjunction with the album or was merely born from it. Told in English, Spanish and French, we meet the top-hatted boy, Teaser and his Firecat as they discover a moon, fallen from the sky.
THUMP! The noise made Teaser jump.
"Look at that! Quick, follow me, Firecat."
The fallen moon was stuck in the roof of an old deserted barn.
The two have a spirited little adventure while attempting to put the moon back it its rightful place. Primitively drawn and told, it's still a dear, sweet book that I'm happy fell into my lap.
Yusuf Islam (or the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens and/or man formerly known as Steven Demetre Georgiou) will always hold a dear place in my heart for soothing me through countless heartbreaks and for being so pivotal in those teen years when I was desperate to find myself and understand the reason for it all. Bravo, my friend.
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