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The Good Luck Cat Hardcover – April 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1st edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152321977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152321970
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.7 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Native American poet and literary critic Harjo makes her children's book debut with a simple but beautifully executed tale of a "good luck cat": "You pet [her] and good things happen." Woogie, the cat in question, has need of some luckAas the unnamed girl who narrates explains, Woogie has quickly used up eight of her nine lives, surviving an encounter with a large dog, a tumble in the clothes dryer, a fall from a tree, etc. Then, apparently down to her last life, Woogie disappears. The girl searches everywhere and finally puts a dish of food and some cat toys on the stoop, asking her cat to return. The next morning, Woogie has reappeared, missing half an ear but seemingly content. Harjo combines a childlike voice with a command of detail and imagery ("When I pet her she purrs as if she has a drum near her heart"), and the passing characterization of the narrator as Native American adds interest. Lee's (Amistad Rising) spare, sharply focused, acrylic art provides realistic action views of the risk-taking Woogie, showing familiarity with the way cats move. Given its fresh narrative voice and winning animal heroine, this is likely to have a long shelf lifeAperhaps even nine. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-A young girl tells how Woogie, "a stripedy cat with tickling whiskers and green electric eyes," brings good fortune to her family. The feline's luck, however, might be running out, for she has already used up eight of her nine lives, surviving dangerous encounters with a car motor, a clothes dryer, and a large dog, as well as other mishaps. Now, the cat has disappeared and everyone is worried. After several days, she returns home, minus part of an ear but otherwise shipshape, proving that she "is definitely a real good luck cat," having exceeded her expected life span. Harjo's text presents some striking images while still maintaining a believably childlike tone. The realistic acrylic paintings beautifully convey both action scenes (Woogie falling from a tree) and quiet moments (the hopeful girl placing her missing pet's bowl and toys on the back step). Lee has a knack for capturing the cat's agility and suppleness. Details woven into the story and pictures provide a glimpse of the protagonist's Native American heritage. A moving tale for anyone who has ever lost and found a beloved companion.
Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Brian Klopotek on April 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As a Native American father of a two-year old and a four-year old, I often struggle to find material that presents being Indian as normal for my kids. Too often, books send the message that Indians are not normal and the things we do and wear are not normal. So I search hard for books that are culturally relevant and well-written. Our family favorite is Joy Harjo's The Good Luck Cat, which just makes Indian kids and Indian practices normal for once without even having to center it, as so many other kids' books with Indian characters do. Indian kids can connect with it in a natural way and Indian parents can feel good about it. Kids of other backgrounds ought to have this book in their collections, too, because they, too, need to understand that being an Indian kid is normal. And Harjo is a great author, so your kid will enjoy the story.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
According to Aunt Shelly, Woogie is a good luck cat, and he certainly proves it by surviving one scrape after another. But when he doesn't come home, we wonder if this good luck cat's luck has run out. This is a light, charming celebration of a young girl's friendship with a cat. And it's -- at last! -- a children's picture book featuring Native American characters where culture isn't the main theme. Of course, it's great to have accurate books that touch on Indian themes; however, they should be balanced with delightful stories like this one that depict daily life. Harjo's writing -- as always -- is wonderful and Paul Lee's lovely illustrations really capture feline personality.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Andrea on October 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This story is a touching tale of pet ownership. The unnamed narrator shares her love for Woogie (the cat) with the reader, and expresses (in both words and pictures) a very real relationship between a child and a pet.
This story is sweet without being saccharine; emotional without being overly sentimental. Harjo's gift for poetry shows in the simple but expressive text ("My dad watched Woogie's seventh life fly by him as she ran after it"), and the warm paintings show the cat's expressions in a very real way.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike Beri on November 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My son brought this home from his school library and was extremely touched by this book. He is quite a sensitive child and when it comes to anyone or anything getting hurt he feels it. I initially thought he didn't want the book but I misread his reaction. I thought he was upset and didn't like the book. But, he kept saying "Order it off the internet, daddy". The page where Woogie gets chased by the boys with the BB gun has to be the most heart-wrenching page, next to where he goes missing but eventually shows up. And HOPEFULLY becomes an indoor cat!! From an engine fan, tumble dryer and boys with BB guns poor Woogie uses up his nine lives but this cat has 10!
A great book for natives and the rest of us (like my family).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cindy S. Covert on July 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Joy Harjo tells this story in a simply beautiful way. Wrapped in this cover are emotions and experiences that my daughter and I can joyfully follow together. I'm always glad when my child selects this as one of her bedtime stories.
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