The good luck cat

Joy Harjo

Book - 2000

Because her good luck cat Woogie has already used up eight of his nine lives in narrow escapes from disaster, a Native American girl worries when he disappears.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
San Diego, CA : Harcourt Brace 2000.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill. ; 22 x 28 cm
ISBN
0152321977
Main Author
Joy Harjo (-)
Other Authors
Paul Lee (illustrator)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Native American poet and literary critic Harjo makes her children's book debut with a simple but beautifully executed tale of a "good luck cat": "You pet [her] and good things happen." Woogie, the cat in question, has need of some luck as the unnamed girl who narrates explains, Woogie has quickly used up eight of her nine lives, surviving an encounter with a large dog, a tumble in the clothes dryer, a fall from a tree, etc. Then, apparently down to her last life, Woogie disappears. The girl searches everywhere and finally puts a dish of food and some cat toys on the stoop, asking her cat to return. The next morning, Woogie has reappeared, missing half an ear but seemingly content. Harjo combines a childlike voice with a command of detail and imagery ("When I pet her she purrs as if she has a drum near her heart"), and the passing characterization of the narrator as Native American adds interest. Lee's (Amistad Rising) spare, sharply focused, acrylic art provides realistic action views of the risk-taking Woogie, showing familiarity with the way cats move. Given its fresh narrative voice and winning animal heroine, this is likely to have a long shelf life perhaps even nine. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 3-A young girl tells how Woogie, "a stripedy cat with tickling whiskers and green electric eyes," brings good fortune to her family. The feline's luck, however, might be running out, for she has already used up eight of her nine lives, surviving dangerous encounters with a car motor, a clothes dryer, and a large dog, as well as other mishaps. Now, the cat has disappeared and everyone is worried. After several days, she returns home, minus part of an ear but otherwise shipshape, proving that she "is definitely a real good luck cat," having exceeded her expected life span. Harjo's text presents some striking images while still maintaining a believably childlike tone. The realistic acrylic paintings beautifully convey both action scenes (Woogie falling from a tree) and quiet moments (the hopeful girl placing her missing pet's bowl and toys on the back step). Lee has a knack for capturing the cat's agility and suppleness. Details woven into the story and pictures provide a glimpse of the protagonist's Native American heritage. A moving tale for anyone who has ever lost and found a beloved companion.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Because her good luck cat Woogie has already used up eight of his nine lives in narrow escapes from disaster, a Native American girl worries when he disappears.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Some cats are good luck. You pet them and good things happen. Woogie is one of those cats. But as Woogie gets into one mishap after another, everyone starts to worry. Can a good luck cat's good luck run out? The first children's book from an acclaimed poet whose honors include the American Book Award and the William Carlos Williams Award Celebrates the special relationship between a young girl and her cat •A modern Native American story from a member of the Muskogee-Creek tribe

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Some cats are good luck. You pet them and good things happen. Woogie is one of those cats. But as Woogie gets into one mishap after another, everyone starts to worry. Can a good luck cat's good luck run out?The first children's book from an acclaimed poet whose honors include the American Book Award and the William Carlos Williams AwardCelebrates the special relationship between a young girl and her cat •A modern Native American story from a member of the Muskogee-Creek tribe