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The Cat Next Door

The Cat Next Door

by Betty Ren Wright, Gail Owens (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A girl recalls past summers spent at her grandparents' lakeside cabin--picnicking on the dock, swimming in the lake, riding in the boat. Each year she would anticipate the special, implicit greeting from the Cat Next Door: `` Where've you been all year, you silly girl? '' Grandma always said each idyllic day would ``last forever, because that's how long we're going to remember it.'' This summer, however, will be different--Grandma has died. As she tries to contain her grief, the girl is surprised by a special gift from her feline friend: two new kittens. Owens's winsome pencil drawings, blended with delicate pastels, perfectly capture the nostalgia of this gentle, reassuring story. (When the girl is reminiscing, different perspectives of the same scene overlap dreamily within a single illustration.) In her tale of rebirth, Wright ( The Dollhouse Murders ; A Ghost in the Window ) subtly teaches children to cherish memories and understand that life goes on. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- Although cat lovers may be disappointed to discover that this book does not actually focus on felines, readers will find comfort in the sensitive tale's themes of loss, grief, and the healing power of memories. Wright's unnamed narrator, a young girl, describes her usual pattern of summer vacations at her grandparents' beach home, which always include a friendly visit from the cat next door. She then notes that this year will be different because of the death of her beloved grandmother. She recalls the many good times she and her grandmother shared and is surprised and delighted by the arrival of the cat and her two new kittens. Soft pencil illustrations, blues and greens predominating, suit the delicate approach of the text and capture the seaside setting. Owens's technique of blending several events into a single picture illuminates the ways in which reality and memory overlap and creates a richly textured image of past, present, and possibility. While the family pictured here is white, middle-class, and traditional in composition, Wright's message is a universal one.-- Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
9.35(w) x 9.29(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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