A Cat Named Swan

A Cat Named Swan

Book - 2017
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After surviving on the streets, a homeless cat discovers the joys of living with a human family.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780553537451
0553537458
9780553537444
055353744X
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 25 cm

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FindingJane Mar 22, 2017

This charming pictorial tale starts on the titular page, where we see a queen in a box with her kindle of kittens asleep around her, all of them sleeping. Then we find the abandoned kitten alone. Where are its mother and siblings?

This question is never answered. But the tale takes us along as the kitten faces danger, starvation and discomfort in its efforts to survive on the streets. The illustrations are wonderful, realistic in their painterly detail and admirably compositioned as we see the realities of a harsh world looming over a very small kitten. The story pulls us in to one changing scenario after another. (The shelter scene where the kitten is in a cage with 13 other cats is especially good. “Boredom was better than misery.” is a line that amply demonstrates how lucky the kitten is. Feral cats tend to live only about five years, a much shorter lifespan than their housebroken counterparts.)

The feral kitten transforms from frightened tiny beast to sleek adopted pet. Named “Swan” (no explanation given for that, either), it grows to become a happy tom, cherished and loved by its human owners. But the tom doesn’t think of love. It only enjoys a life that has become free of care, with plenty to eat, lots of activity and cozy places to sleep.

This is a lovely children’s book and, I think, the kind that might encourage a child to adopt an unwanted stray. There are lots of animals in shelters that need love and homes. “A Cat Named Swan” shows the happy outcome of such a choice.

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