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Joe Van Der Katt and the Great Picket Fence

Overview

What happens when working cats in New York State's Dutch settlement of Litterbox decide to stand up for their right to fair pay? Labor Day or, in this case, Lay-Purr Day is born!

Joe Van der Katt and the other cats from the poor section of Litterbox work for pennies a day in the Cat's Cradle Company for J. Paul Kitty, one of the Fat Cats who lives on the nice side of town and owns most of the local businesses. One day, Joe stops pussyfooting around and asks J. Paul Kitty for a ...

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Overview

What happens when working cats in New York State's Dutch settlement of Litterbox decide to stand up for their right to fair pay? Labor Day or, in this case, Lay-Purr Day is born!

Joe Van der Katt and the other cats from the poor section of Litterbox work for pennies a day in the Cat's Cradle Company for J. Paul Kitty, one of the Fat Cats who lives on the nice side of town and owns most of the local businesses. One day, Joe stops pussyfooting around and asks J. Paul Kitty for a raise. Instead, he is offered extra work bringing in J. Paul Kitty's Catawba-grape harvest and the other cats from the factory are invited to come along. When the time comes for them to be paid for their work, J. Paul Kitty points out that he only has a deal with Joe. Finally, the cats grow tired of Mr. Kitty's antics and go on strike, giving new meaning to a "picket line" in this hilarious fable about Labor Day.

Readers will delight in celebrating alongside these clever kitties as they join paws and scratch their way to a better life in Litterbox.

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Peter Welling teaches writing and illustration courses for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis's Continuing Education Program. Mr. Welling was selected as a Distinguished Alumnus for the Liberal Arts and Sciences Division in 2003 by Indiana University at South Bend and is an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

In the town of Litterbox in New York's Catskill Mountains, the fat cats have all of the money and power until the poor cats get organized and demand fair pay and better working conditions.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Set in Litterbox, a Dutch settlement in New York's Catskill Mountains, this is a strange tale about a group of feline factory workers who are exploited by their boss, J. Paul Kitty, and his henchmen. The employees at Cat's Cradle Company eventually triumph when they build a picket fence for the owner but don't make a gate. They form a picket line along the top of the fence, promising to provide the gate and return to work when their demands are met. Filled with visual puns, the cartoon illustrations depict felines of many socioeconomic backgrounds, from workers wearing patched clothing to fat cats in pinstriped suits. Dutch terms are scattered throughout in dialogue balloons, and children will not understand them unless they consult the glossary. Although youngsters with no background on the subject will be lost, those studying labor movements and Labor Day in particular might enjoy this tale. Consider this book only if your curriculum includes this topic and could stand an offbeat version of the workers' plight and struggle.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589802810
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/15/2005
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.10 (d)

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