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Mrs. Katz and Tush (Reading Rainbow Book) Paperback – March 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
It is indeed a magical book, with a story that transcends cultural differences and generational conflict. Each character is defined by their relationship to the other, and at the end we see the beautiful changes that can grow from love and affection.
I hope that you can enjoy reading this book with children you love, it is a most rewarding and pleasurable experience.
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!
One day, Larnel gets the idea to give Mrs. Katz a kitten from the litter that was born in the basement of his apartment building. (Get the pun -- Katz/cats? Actually, the name "Katz" has nothing to do with "cats," but it's cute anyway.) Mrs. Katz names the kitten Tush, which is Yiddish for "bottom," because it has no tail. Larnel agrees to help her care for Tush, and from this sharing, a lifelong friendship grows.
The story is well-written, the characters are well-developed and "real." The illustrations are vibrant, beautifully done, and ethnically accurate. Well, almost. There are a couple Jewish bloopers. For one thing, the menorah sitting by Mrs. Katz's window only has seven branches. A Hanukkah menorah has nine -- eight for the eight days plus an extra for the "servant" candle. The seven-branched menorah mentioned in the Bible was specifically for the Jerusalem Temple, and is not usually found in the home. Since Hanukkah was mentioned in the story, I have to assume that this was supposed to be a Hanukkah menorah.
The second blooper is the scene in the bakery. Mrs. Katz is shopping for PASSOVER -- a time when no leaven is to be found anywhere in a Jewish home. It is not just a matter of eating matzoh.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this story about an elderly Jewish lady and her young Black neighbor who become friends over a cat named Tush.Published 3 months ago by Mish MIsh
I loved the book. I think everyone would love this because the cat has kittens in the end. There is also a kid named Larnel.Published 3 months ago by sweet game it's AWESOME I love it so much
Personally, this is one of my favorite stand alone books. Patricia Polacco handles issues of death, transition, adoption, diversity,and extended family that we choose... Read morePublished 5 months ago by PreparedMomma
One of my favorite stories to introduce to kids. Beautiful illustrations and story. Best for 4th grade and up.Published 7 months ago by bh
Love this! I can still hear Lamar reading it when I first heard it on Reading Rainbow with my children. A favorite!Published 12 months ago by A. Katz
Truly remarkable story of friendship and helping others to understand cultural differencesPublished 13 months ago by RetiredGrannaT