Verdict: HAEE is a beautifully illustrated and thought-provoking modern-day allegory suitable for older children and grown-ups alike.

A 5 star ratings from Indie Reader – “Haee and the other middlings” series

This is the simple but poignant story of Haee, a cat with a crooked tail who lives a comfortable and worry-free life with his loving family.

One day, curious Haee goes exploring in a black hole and gets lost. Haee is discovered by Tom and Jane. Tom and Jane take Haee home and give Haee everything he could possibly need or want. Though they appear to be a perfect couple living a perfect life filled with good jobs, exercise, organic food, sleep, a nice car and everything they need, Tom is secretly dissatisfied with the busy urban life and wishes for clean fresh air and Jane wishes she were a bird and could fly away and see the world.

Haee, in spite of his pampered life, treats and his part in making the house run smoothly, discovers that he, too, is missing something. So one day Haee decides to go play with the cats in the alley and make friends with Whie – the one cat that all the other cats ignore because of her big red nose.  Haee enjoys being with Whie so much that he does not return to Tom and Jane.

The first in a trilogy, this story centers on the themes of need versus want, self-fulfillment and motivation. Author R.S. Vern introduces the concept of “Middlings” to the reader in the introduction, explaining that Middlings are those who appear to have it all, are independent, respect non-conformists and the environment but feel “apart from it all”. They also often ask themselves: “Are we not as happy as those who are much better off in this world?”

Haee, Tom and Jane are all Middlings who appear to have everything they could possibly need and want to be comfortable. But, as the evocative and enticingly detailed pen-line illustrations show, there is an underlying sense of dissatisfaction that grows in spite of all “needs” being met. Realizing this, Haee acts on his desires leaves the comfort of home in search of more satisfying life.

The ending comes somewhat abruptly, leaving a sense that the story is incomplete, however Vern does effectively brings to light the question about whether or not having it all is really the paradigm for the middle class working Tom and Jane, and whether Haee, or any other Middling, is really living more if they are less “comfortable”.

Vern’s story is engaging on many levels and the mostly-black-and-white illustrations add a contemporary and stylish elegance to the clean, crisp layout of the ebook that also features pop up text boxes when narrative is double clicked.

HAEE is a beautifully illustrated and thought-provoking modern-day allegory suitable for older children and grown-ups alike.

Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader. To read more, please go to http://indiereader.com/2013/02/haee-the-cat-with-a-crooked-tail/.

A five stars book review by Readers Favorite

A 5 star book review for "Haee The cat with a crooked tail" by R.S. Vern
A 5 star book review for “Haee The cat with a crooked tail” by R.S. Vern

Haee The cat with a crooked tail, “Haee and the other middlings”, #1, received a five – stars book review by Readers Favorite. Jessica Porter, book reviewer at Readers Favorite says:

“Are we not as happy as those who are much better off in this world?” After this statement I was hooked! Then seeing that first cat just blew me away! I love all the artwork! Haee gets restless with his life and decides to go looking for adventure and through his adventure he gets lost in a black hole but he meets a new family. He stays with the new family for years observing what they do and how they live their lives. He then again gets restless and decides to go on a new adventure with a street cat. This is where book two starts.

This book was very cute. I loved the wonderful drawings. The only drawing I had an issue with was the one on smoking. The drawings are really what make this book so cute. I can’t wait to get a hold of the rest of them and I think I am a middling as well!”

To continue reading the entire review, please go to http://readersfavorite.com/review/7689 .

“Is that it? Is that what life is all about? Being perfect? Doing all the politically correct things and having it all?”

 

I like author R.S. Vern’s take on life through the eyes of a cat. It makes it easier for readers to accept the messages she is attempting to get across. What are these messages? You have to read it to find out and I can guarantee that you will be changed, though in a big or small way, it’s up to you.

The author provokes us into thinking outside the box. She wants us to ask: “Is that it? Is that what life is all about? Being perfect? Doing all the politically correct things and having it all?” Sure looks good on the surface … but the illustrations show otherwise.

I like how she combines illustrations and words. I would say the illustrations tell an equally, if not more, compelling story of the ironic messages she is trying to convey. A picture means more than a thousand words, people say. How clever of her!

I would recommend this book to everyone: young adults who are about to embark on their journey of life and adults who outwardly think they have got it all but are unhappy inside. The presentation and approach in this remarkable book is simple and clear enough for children and teens to benefit from it, too! Even better, this is the first book of a trilogy, so if you like this book, you can get the other two when they come out!

There is so much truth in so few words and drawings. The author states: “Looking can make you want. Wanting can get you thinking. If you want them to stop thinking, just give them what they want.” This makes me think, “Will I stop thinking about it once I get what I want; will I start to want something else again and start the process all over, just like Haee The Cat?”

I love this book because it makes me want to question and think. That is not a bad thing at all, I think.
– Cecilia Lee, Reviewer Allbooks Review International