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Mrs. Katz and Tush (Reading Rainbow) Paperback – March 1, 1994
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Audio CD, Audiobook
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Larnel doesn't know his neighbor, Mrs. Katz, very well, until he asks her to adopt an abandoned kitten. Mrs. Katz agrees on one condition: that Larnel help her take care of the kitten she names Tush. When Larnel starts spending more and more time with Mrs. Katz to help with Tush, Mrs. Katz tells him stories about coming to America from Poland and about the good times she spent with her late husband. As Larnel grows to love Mrs. Katz, he also learns about the suffering and triumph black history shares with the Jewish heritage.
Patricia Pollaco has illustrated, as well as authored, countless picture books. She lives in Union City, Michigan.
- Format: Paperback
- Publication Date: 3/1/1994
- Pages: 32
- Reading Level: Age 3 and Up
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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!