Reviewed by Lorna d'Entremontfor Special Needs Book Review:
"Congratulations to a fellow Canadian who lives in the Maritimes for herheart-warming children's book about blindness! The delightful picturebook titled Tigger And Jasper's New Home by Cheryl Gillespie is brought to life by the colourful illustrations by Michael Allison LeBlanc. Ms. Gillespie,blind from early childhood, has written a touching story about her adoption oftwo adorable, curious kittens. Teachers, parents, and other caregivers can usethis book as an entry point to discuss blindness with children.
Other themes in this story are acceptance ofdifferences and the importance of caring, respect, and support foreach other as shown by the characters in Tigger And Jasper's New Home. Thisis a book to be read and re-read to savour the skillful use of words anddelightful illustrations to convey the story. After the first reading, once thereader knows of the woman's blindness, re-reading will allow the reader tosee how independent and content she is and how this capablewoman earns her living by giving piano lessons."
Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen for Readers' Favorite:
"Tigger and Jasper's New Home by Cheryl Gillespie is a fun, beautifully written children's book that follows two adorable, curious young kittens. The two kittens live in a barn, but they want to find a forever home, just like their brothers and sisters. One day they are adopted by a woman named Christie. ... What is different about Christie?
... The book is very well written and descriptive. I liked that the book introduces blindness to children, and shows that blind people are still people and can still do everything you do, except they may do it differently. The pictures by Michael LeBlanc are well drawn and depict each scene very well. ... The characters are very likeable, because the cats love Christie and Christie loves the cats. Parents will enjoy reading this book to their child, who will want to read this book again and again. I would definitely recommend this to all young children."
Reviewed by Claire Ward-Dutton for Little Parachutes:
"This gentle and appealing story gives young children a glimpse inside the life of a blind person. The blind woman in the story is loving, independent and capable.
Tigger and Jasper are two little kittens living on a noisy farm. ... One day, they are collected by a man in a 'big scary truck' who takes them to the home of their new owner, a caring and gentle lady called Christie. The kittens soon feel at home with Christie, and they have lots of fun exploring her house and getting into mischief. Towards the end of the story, the kittens first realise that Christie's 'eyes don't work'. Tigger pats her eyes with her paw, and Christie senses that the kittens know that she is blind.
The most apparent thing about Christie is not her blindness, but her love and kindness. The important message that people should not be defined by their disabilities rings out in this picture book."
Reviewed by Chloe Humphreys for Resource Links:
"...The story is inspired by the real-life relationship between Gillespie and her two cats, and succeeds at gracefully introducing a blind character to children. Gillespie's writing style is descriptive and accessible, developing the kitten's personalities to great effect. Children will delight in Tigger and Jasper's playful, curious and high-spirited attitudes. LeBlanc's cartoonish illustrations only enhance the humour inherent in the kitten's escapades, highlighting their facial expressions and the colourful objects in their environment. Both kittens respond to Christie's blindness with love, modelling acceptance and support clearly for young readers. Children will also understand that despite Christie's blindness, she's independent and capable, making her a strong female character that is well developed and relatable.
Tigger and Jasper's New Home is a lovely book that should be a part of all Canadian library collections."
Victoria Pennell, Editor Resource Links
Reviewed by Chris Stead for Old Mate Media:
"Author Cheryl Gillespie and illustrator Michael LeBlanc open a unique door into the life of a blind woman, and her love for her two cats. Cheryl Gillespie is blind. She has been since her early childhood. It's a telling fact about this unique indie author that makes her desire to create a children's picture book all the more intriguing. It's abstract, eye-catching art a sight she'll never see for herself. An award-winning pianist and music teacher, she hails from Fredericton New Brunswick, Canada and teamed up with her brother-in-law, Michael LeBlanc, to create Tigger and Jasper's New Home. It's now available in digital form alongside the print edition, which was first published way back in 1996.
Despite starring a little girl called Christie, Tigger and Jasper's New Home is in fact Cheryl Gillespie's own true story. The kittens Tigger and Jasper were born on May 20, 1990, and have long since passed away. However, their impact on a blind Canadian lady is clearly warmly remembered. In fact, before you even start reading, there's a powerful emotional backbone to this title you can't ignore. If most of us can only imagine what life might have been like for a young blind girl, Cheryl Gillespie lived it. So she knows exactly what having two feline best friends meant to her."
Tigger and Jasper's New Home - Story Review:
"Tigger and Jasper's New Home starts in Douglastown, a small village hugging the Gulf of St Lawrence on Canada's south-eastern coast. We meet our two newborn kittens, who dream of a life away from all the scary loud noises of their farm. Their dreams are realised when they are gifted to a new owner called Christie. Christie's piano playing replacing the tractor sounds, as she sings to herself and teaches children all about music.
However, over the course of the book and a series of misadventures, the two cats discover their new owner is blind. They embrace this difference, and we get a powerful sensation of the symbiotic relationship that forms between a blind owner and her pets. Both so heavily reliant on the other and willing to accept their flaws so completely. I adore the way Cheryl Gillespie's word choice reveals how a blind individual "sees" the world. On that note alone, I'm better for having read this book. Plus, I feel I can use it as an entry point to explain blindness to my children.
I'm a big fan of Michael LeBlanc's art. Bright and relatively simplistic, the images smartly keep the perspective from that of the two kittens. The soft, lazy edges to each image work in the book's favour to further capture that feeling of looking back into the past. It's almost like a dream. A book of such honesty deserved this kind of organic art. And mixing in a few background-less character images also adds nice flair to the package.
The inclusion, at the book's finale, of a song is the perfect ending. A connection between Christie the young blind lady and Cheryl the veteran, award-winning musician. This is an easy book to like and I highly recommend it. ..."
Reviewed by James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review/Children's Bookwatch Magazine:
"Tigger and Jasper's New Home, is a gentle story about the loving adoption of two kittens by a special musician and teacher. Introducing young readers to an awareness of blindness, "Tigger and Jasper's New Home" presents delicate, spunky pastel portraits of two kittens, one orange and one gray, born on a farm near Douglastown, New Brunswick. One day the farmer took the kittens to their new home with a loving lady who made music and taught piano students. ... Each time the kittens got lost or hidden, Christie, their owner, found them by hearing their plaintive mews. After a day of fun and play, the kittens settled quietly on Christie's lap to snuggle and purr. One of the kittens came to a realization, which she communicated to her sibling: "I think I understand why Christie is so very unique,....Her eyes don't work,.... she can't see." ... This loving, true story of reciprocal love between felines and a human tells young readers much about ways of perceiving others in the world around us."