Hero cat

Eileen Spinelli

Book - 2006

A cat gives birth to a litter of kittens in an abandoned building that catches fire while she is out searching for food.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
Tarrytown, N.Y. : Marshall Cavendish 2006.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill
ISBN
0761452230
9780761452232
Main Author
Eileen Spinelli (-)
Other Authors
Jo Ellen McAllister Stammen (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

PreS-Gr. 2. On a "cold and slushy" March day, a calico cat searches for a place to have her young. She finally settles into an abandoned building and gives birth to five kittens (a scene that's not pictured in the handsome illustrations). After nursing and resting, she leaves her brood to search for food; on her return, she finds the building in flames. Mother Cat is barely able to rescue her kittens, but she and her little ones recover, and the firemen celebrate her heroics and bravery. Spinelli's simple, short sentences amplify the action and danger, though descriptions of defenseless kittens, "tiny ball[s] of fur in the corner. Hardly breathing," may be too vivid and frightening for some children. Still, young listeners will be reassured by the story of a parent's fiercely protective unconditional love, and the full-spread, realistic pastels offer an almost tactile sense of the felines and their tender bond. A concluding note and photo introduce the real-life cat that inspired the story. ((Reviewed March 1, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 3 -Spinelli bases this story on a 10-year-old news story about a stray cat that rescued her kittens from a fire. She begins by constructing a history for the cat and builds empathy toward her as she tries, unsuccessfully, to find a place to give birth to her kittens. She is hissed at by an old Tom in a garage, then shooed out of a shed, but finally finds a home in an abandoned building. Later, while she is on a food-finding expedition, it catches on fire, and she arrives home just in time to pull the kittens to safety. Basing a story on a true event has its limitations. While the fire and the cat's rescue mission will be inherently exciting to children, the text does not have the depth of a well-constructed story. A photograph of the real Scarlett after her ordeal is included. The author lets readers know that the mother cat and her kittens found loving homes in the end. Stammen's realistic illustrations are rendered in pastel and are wonderfully textured. While the animal isn't as bedraggled or injured as the real one was, children will understand her heroism as she repeatedly makes her way through flames and fire. While this is not a must-have title for most libraries, it is a good additional purchase, especially suited for read-alouds on themes of heroism, cats, and even Mother's Day.-Carol L. MacKay, Forestburg School Library, Alberta, Canada [Page 119]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A cat gives birth to a litter of kittens in an abandoned building that catches fire while she is out searching for food.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A cat gives birth to a litter of kittens in an abandoned building that catches fire while she is out searching for food, but determined to save her kittens, mama cat makes five trips into the burning warehouse to save each of her five kittens.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A cat gives birth to a litter of kittens in an abandoned building that catches fire while she is out searching for food. Based on a true story.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Five tiny kittens cry for their mama, as smoke begins to fill the abandoned warehouse that has been their home. But Mother Cat has left her cozy heap of kittens to go in search of food.Determined to save her babies, Mother Cat dashes into the burning building and follows the sounds of frightened mewing. In five daring acts, she saves each kitten—a true hero cat! This story, accompanied by beautiful illustrations rendered in pastel, honors the tenth anniversary of the real story of a homeless cat who rescued her kittens from a burning building in 1996.