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Mrs. Katz and Tush (A Bantam Little Rooster Book) Hardcover – February 10, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Zesty art and sensitive storytelling light up these two books, the first about an elderly Jewish widow and her young African American neighbor, the second set in Amish country. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-- A warm, lovingly told story about an intergenerational relationship. It is the beginning of a long friendship between Mrs. Katz, widowed, childless, and lonely, and her young African-American neighbor, Larnel, when he presents her with a scraggly kitten. On his daily visit to the elderly woman and her pet, they talk about Mrs. Katz's husband, her arrival in the United States from Poland, and the similar experiences of Jews and African-Americans. Larnel accompanies her to say kaddish at her husband's grave, and attends her Passover seder. When Tush has kittens, Mrs. Katz feels fulfilled, a bubee (grandmother) at last. The final illustration shows an adult Larnel with Mrs. Katz holding his baby, and the story ends with him and his family visiting the woman's grave. Mrs. Katz's dialogue reflects her Yiddish background without being obtrusive. The charcoal and watercolor illustrations are in Polacco's usual style, with large areas of white space emphasizing the characters rather than their surroundings. The character portrayals are vivid and lively, with a hint of humor. Polacco pays careful attention to detail, even to the age blemishes on Mrs. Katz's hands. A fine book for group or individual sharing. --Susan Giffard, Englewood Public Library, NJ
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
In this story the lives of two very different neighbors are drawn together through a small, tail-less kitten named Tush (the name itself brings giggles to the 4 year old set). Larnel, dragged along by his mother to visit an elderly widowed neighbor (and the picture of him in his chair shows you all that you need to know about how he feels about being there!) surprises himself by feeling compassion for lonely Mrs. Katz. He brings her the runt of a litter of kittens, saying that nobody else wants it. Mrs. Katz reluctantly accepts the kitten, on the condition that Larnel will help her learn how to care for it. He agrees, and a life-long friendship is begun.
There are so many great parts to this book- the growing understanding about the things that we have in common, no matter how disparate our backgrounds, messages on ethnicity, on generational relationships, and so on- that you could get the idea that this is a 'good-for-you' book. But at it's heart Mrs. Katz & Tush is the work of a master storyteller and illustrator, and is a story that the children ask for again & again & again. Ours are still savouring it after 3 years, and show no signs of growing weary of it. The illustrations- especially some of the expressions- are some of Polacco's best efforts. Don't miss this one!