Although this book does not have a Thanksgiving theme, it certainly speaks to the topic of gratitude. Also, since I’ve recently been in Minnesota, it seemed appropriate to share a book by a Minnesota author.
Title: Scrawny Cat
Author: Phyllis Root
Illustrator: Alison Friend
Publisher: Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2011
Genre: Picture book, fiction
Audience Age: 3 to 8 years
Themes/topics: being lost and then found, loneliness, hope, friendship, stray cats, treating animals kindly
Opening Sentences: A scrawny cat crept down the street. He was lonely. He was little. He was lost.
Synopsis: Scrawny Cat once had a home and someone who cared for him. He once had a name. Now he’s lost, and hungry, and everyone he approaches calls him ‘Get Out of Here!’ A fierce dog chases him down to the dock where he hides in a dinghy. During a storm, the dinghy breaks loose from its mooring, and Scrawny Cat is taken out to sea. Things could not be much worse. Thankfully, when the storm ends, his boat has washed up on the shore of a small island, where a woman lives all alone. I’ll bet you can guess what happens…
Activities/Resources: If the child has a pet, this would be a good opportunity to reinforce how important it is to care for the pet and to tend to its needs. If the child does not have a pet, suggest they pretend with one of their stuffed animals and think of all the things they could do to make it happy, comfortable, and loved.
The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies has a kids’ page with puzzles, games and information.
Learning to Give suggests activities related to a visit to an animal shelter (scroll down to find “Hands On Activities”).
Availability: Readily available in hardcover.
Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”