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Unread 09-29-2006   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Broken Cat

There are times when hearing a familiar story -- even a story about how your mother fell and broke her arm when she was a little girl -- can be comforting. And so it was for Andy, and for his cat, Frank. Because the important thing is that injuries heal. When they have healed, they become stories -- and sometimes a story with a happy ending is exactly what is needed. If you are looking for the perfect book about love and families and intergenerational support (to say nothing of cats), look no further.

Customer Review: Excellent slice of life
I got this book a few years agoat a book signing in Traverse City. It is an excellent portrait of life in a family, with some wonderful illustrations. I especially liked the telling of some of the story from the viewpoint of "Andy", the young boy, who, as it happens, is modeled qute a bit after my close friend Frank Perkins, whom the cat is named after. Aside from the personal ties, I find the book very easy to relate to, having a cat of my own who is rather prone to injuries. This is a great book for families to read together, as well as for someone to read on their own.
Customer Review: Hello kitty
Funny thing. Though I think this is a great book and a really interesting way to introduce kids to notion of personal injuries, I also know for a fact that I could NOT have enjoyed this book as a child. Mind you, this is a strictly personal matter. I well remember another cat based picture book that worried me to no end as a child. If any of you have ever read "The Patchwork Cat", you'll know what I mean. I had a very hard time reading stories where cats were unhappy or in pain. In this particular book, a cat is being taken to the vet because he is acting as if he's hurting. The book doesn't dwell on this aspect and the cat is perfectly fine by the end of the tale, but it probably will disturb some of the more squeamish children out there. In this lovely intergenerational tale, a boy accompanies his broken cat, his mother, his grandmother, and his aunt to the doctor's office. To comfort the cat, the boy asks his mom to recount how she once broke her own arm. The mom's story of getting "fixed" is paired with the cat's own tale of recovery. Perkins, author of the lovely "Snow Music" (big big recommendation on that one, people!), has penned a really nice story. The best of its kind, perhaps. There are a few books for kids that explain the process of breaking bodily parts and the fixing that follows, but I don't think many are as eloquent as this. Topping off the tale are Perkins' adept illustrations as well. Anyone who has seen a cat in pain will recognize how well the author/illustrator has captured this feline's tightly squeezed eyes and flat ears. At times the pictures slip into a kind of dreamscape. A page quartered into four views of the boy and cat in bed look out on stars, an evening meadow, a misty night, and sunny green field. Other times, there's a nice melding between the text and the pictures. I was especially taken with the title page, on which the portrait of the boy's mother as a girl, pets the cat held by the boy in an opposite portrait. It's a great story with likable characters and an interesting plot. And to top it all off, it serves a need. Simply great.

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