Have you ever owned a pet that reacts with jealousy when you take an interest in another pet? Or worse still, actively goes about with tactics to exclude the new pet from your home?

This is the humourous theme of this gentle children’s picture book.

In the story Rose’s husband has died, and she is in need of comfort. Her dog, John Brown, is a good companion. However one day Rose sees a beautiful sleek black cat outside in the tree. Why won’t her pet dog, John Brown, turn his head to even glance at the beautiful cat outside? Her attempts to leave the cat milk and coax it inside are all foiled by John Brown who secretly makes it his business to keep Rose all to himself.

Read on to find out how Rose, eventually sick and in bed, is finally united with the mysterious black cat!

This picture book, illustrated by Ron Brooks, is widely regarded as a classic and won the Australian Children’s Book Council Book of the year award (picture books) in 1978. It is still as popular as when it was first published, a constant in libraries and reprinted many times.

Jane Fagan worked as a children’s and reference librarian for 14 years. She has a B.A. and a Grad Dip Library and Information Studies from Melbourne University.