Victor is very sad when Charlie dies. His mother suggests a new pet, but he's just not sure. He agrees to give Shelley the kitten a chance---but she's not Charlie! She doesn't look like him, or act like him, or do the things he did. Can Victor ever learn to love her?
Format: Hardcover Number of Pages: 32 Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Publication Date: 2004 Dimensions: 10.00 X 8.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0802852521 ISBN-13: 9780802852526 Availability: In Stock Ages: 4-8
" Who's the best cat in the world? I asked him after Mom turned off the light. Charlie purred a rumbling reply."
But even the best cat in the world doesn't live forever, and the young narrator of this touching story struggles to deal with the loss of his beloved cat Charlie. His mother suggests getting a new cat, and after some hesitation, Vincent agrees. But the new cat, Shelley, is very different from Charlie. She doesn't look like Charlie, she doesn't like the same things Charlie did, and she doesn't do the things Charlie always did. But despite all these differences, is it possible that Shelley might, in her own way, also be the best cat in the world?
LeslC)a Newman's gentle story honors the full range of a child's feelings when dealing with the loss of a favorite pet. Ronald Himler's soft watercolor and pencil illustrations capture the poignant emotions of the young boy as well as the playful antics of his new kitten.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-In this worthy companion to Judith Viorst's The Tenth Good Thing about
Barney (Atheneum, 1971), a young child grieves for his pet. For days after
Charlie's death, Victor can't eat or talk about him without crying. He is
comforted by gestures from his class, his mom cooking his favorite meal, and a
memorial rosebush that he plants over his cat's grave. When a sympathetic vet
introduces him to a tortoiseshell kitten that needs a home, he finally cheers
up. However, Shelley is not Charlie and chooses to sleep on the windowsill
rather than with Victor and to ignore the tidbits he drops on the floor at
dinner. As the two become better acquainted, the youngster begins to notice
special things Shelley does that his old pet did not. The story comes full
circle when Victor gazes out of the window and asks the kitten the same
question he used to ask Charlie, "Who's the best cat in the world?" Himler's
warm pencil-and-watercolor illustrations generously fill the pages. They
portray the casually clad characters with tenderness and contrast the shape
of the old and sick animal with that of the young and playful one. For a
feline who visits the vet and gets well, see Lynne Rae Perkins's charming The
Broken Cat (Greenwillow, 2002), but for comfort and catharsis, Newman's fine
story is the cat's pajamas.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School,
Alexandria, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Newman (Cats! Cats! Cats!) captures the conflicting emotions of losing a
cherished pet and then learning to love a new one in this warmly reassuring
tale. Young Victor, the narrator, mourns the death of Charlie, his old orange
cat who had curled up next to him on a special pillow each night. "I cried and
cried for two whole days. Mom didn't even make me go to school. We buried
Charlie in the backyard and planted a rosebush for him with green leaves and
orange flowers." Weeks later, at the gentle urging of his mother and the vet,
Victor somewhat guardedly adopts a tortoiseshell kitten named Shelley. Shelley
slowly earns her owner's acceptance and love through frisky antics and
endearing habits that differentiate her from Charlie. While the text can be
lengthy, particularly for the younger set, the story moves swiftly and
tenderly. Himler's (I Wonder as I Wander) soft pencil and watercolor art
conveys a myriad of feelings. Soothing and hopeful tones of muted oranges,
yellows and greens provide backdrops for the realistic spreads as they
showcase the new pet's playfulness (drinking from a faucet, biting shoelaces).
Touching in its depiction of the carefully crafted bonds between a boy and
his furry companions, this story comes full circle with Victor and Shelley
peering out at Charlie's rosebush. A fitting read for any youngster facing the
loss of a pet. Ages 3-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.