Chicken Cat

Overview

The hero of this farmyard fantasy, Merlin, is not a typical kitten. No one knows who his natural mother is, but Guinevere, the oldest hen in the barn, is perfectly willing to take the frail kitten under her wing. Despite the genuine love that Guinevere showers on him, though, Merlin can_t grow and thrive on seeds and grains.

When a little girl visits the farm, Guinevere grasps at the chance to give Merlin a home where he will be safe and cared for as a cat should be. Merlin ...

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Overview

The hero of this farmyard fantasy, Merlin, is not a typical kitten. No one knows who his natural mother is, but Guinevere, the oldest hen in the barn, is perfectly willing to take the frail kitten under her wing. Despite the genuine love that Guinevere showers on him, though, Merlin can_t grow and thrive on seeds and grains.

When a little girl visits the farm, Guinevere grasps at the chance to give Merlin a home where he will be safe and cared for as a cat should be. Merlin never forgets the love Guinevere gave him and the debt he owes her. He longs to see her again and give her something in return. And when he finally returns to the farm, he is able to help Guinevere realize her dreams.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In this fantasy-filled love story, Merlin, the tiny kitten, mysteriously appears in the barn one cold, dark night. Only Guinevere, the oldest hen, takes action to warm him. She knows to keep him warm, but she has no idea what to feed him. At last she asks two goats for a little milk. Merlin is always hungry, but Guinevere only knows to wrap her wings around him. One spring day, when a young girl and her mother come to the farm looking for a kitten, Guinevere charges out of nowhere to present Merlin to the farmer and the little girl. Merlin finds food and happiness with the girl, but he cannot forget his chicken mother. Knowing that he and Guinevere must be together, Merlin successfully flies off to bring her to him. In a delightful blend of text and warm illustrations, children will see and feel the love between Guinevere and Merlin. What a wonderful, sweet story for young children who have the ability to suspend reality and believe in the impossible dream! 2000, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $14.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: J. B. Petty
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-In this disturbing tale, a shivering orange kitten is abandoned in an untidy barn where he is "adopted" by a kindly chicken. With little food or sunlight, Merlin fails to grow and thrive, but the two animals form a close bond. Guinevere even shares her dream of being able to fly with her sickly charge. Possible salvation for the starving feline appears in the form of a small African-American child looking for a pet. Guinevere grabs the kitten by the scruff of the neck and runs across the barnyard, dropping him at the little girl's feet (a journey so frightening that the delicate creature blacks out). She takes him home and fattens him up. The story ambles on to a fanciful conclusion: a strong, confident Merlin jumps out the window of his new home, spreads his feet, and flies to the barn to thank Guinevere for saving his life by teaching her to fly. While Cassidy's illustrations, rendered in watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil, add spirit to the tale, they cannot save this dark, muddled barnyard fantasy. Joan Rankin's You're Somebody Special, Walliwigs (McElderry, 1999), a story of an abandoned bird, has a brighter and more positive outcome, making it a more suitable choice for youngsters.-Cynde Marcen- gill, Horry County Memorial Library, Surfside Beach, SC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Childrens Book Watch
The Chicken Cat is a delightful fantasy picturebook tale about an old hen adopting a lost kitten. Stephanie McLellan's charming, entertaining story is wonderfully showcased by Sean Cassidy's lively and realistic artwork. The Chicken Cat will prove a welcome and popular addition to any school or community library picturebook collection for young readers!
—Childrens Book Watch
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550416770
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Edition description: PBK ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean Cassidy was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. He has written and illustrated a number of titles, including Gummytoes, Wake Up Henry Rooster and Good to be Small, which won the Mr. Christie's Book Award Silver Seal. His picture book debut with author Stephanie McLellan, The Chicken Cat, resulted in both the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Ruth Schwartz Award. Sean lives near Orangeville, Ontario, with his wife and daughter.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2001

    Heart-warming

    A rags to riches story of a kitten with humble beginnings who never forgets the one who cared for him in his time of greatest need. I had the honour to meet Stephanie Simpson McLellan at the moment she won the Ruth Schwartz award in the National Library in Ottawa, and promised her I'd read her book. I'm glad I did. My grandchildren love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2001

    A Tender Lesson in Love

    The Chicken Cat is a story about the power, energy and wonder that unselfish love can create. It has been shortlisted for the Ruth Schwartz Award for Excellence in Canadian Children's Literature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2000

    Absolutely Wonderful

    A truly charming story, with illustrations to match. This book is sure to capture the hearts and imaginations of children young and old. I look forward to future books by this gifted author. This book is a `MUST HAVE' for every home and classroom.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2000

    magic

    and why can't a cat fly..... if you put your mind to it you can accomplish almost any thing. What a terrific book to teach children that love and caring for something or someone different than you can bring wonderful rewards later on. Loved the book and my grandkids can't get enough of it.

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