From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Noah and his father join the stampede north when they read the headlines, "Gold in the Klondike! Nuggets the Size of a Man's Fist!" Lawson's tale and Mombourquette's oil paintings provide a child's-eye view of the rush to Dawson in the 1890s. Noah's smuggling of his cat on the northbound steamboat journey is made believable by Shadow's escape to the lower holds of the ship immediately upon boarding. At disembarkation, Pa gives conditional permission for the pet to continue with them. Not only does Shadow survive the rigors of the Chilkoot Pass and the other perils along the trail, but she also enables Noah's father to stake his claim when he doesn't have the money to do so; these charming kittens fetch an ounce of gold as miners contemplate a long Yukon winter and enter into a bidding war for such a scarce commodity. This is a good choice for reading aloud in the manner of Gloria Rand's Baby in a Basket (Dutton, 1997); it's light on the history, better on the evocation of the period and setting. A note fills in the historical detail.Sue Sherif, Alaska State Library, Anchorage
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 1-3. It's 1896 and gold has been discovered in the Klondike River Valley of the Yukon. Joining the gold rush are Noah and his father. Pa tells Noah that he will need to leave his beloved cat, Shadow, behind. Noah, however, has other plans, smuggling the cat aboard the steamship and then proceeding to take her on the hazardous journey through the wilderness to Dawson in the Yukon Territory. To further complicate matters, Shadow has kittens along the way. Upon arrival in Dawson, Noah discovers that cats, because of their mouse-catching skills, are valuable commodities, selling at enormously inflated prices. Noah sells the kittens, earning enough money for his father to buy a claim and keep the gold-fever dream alive. This well-laid-out picture book features a well-written and engaging text, enlivened by Mombourquette's atmospheric oil-paint illustrations. A page at the back gives some historical background on the Klondike gold rush. Todd MorningCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved