Baby Bear Saves the World
Little Cat's Luck
Simon and Schuster February, 2016
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Synopsis
When an indoor calico cat named Patches spots a golden autumn leaf fluttering past her window, she can’t help but venture outside to chase it. But soon, Patches feels something tugging at her, telling her to find a special place—one she won’t know until she sees it. Why must she go on this search? She doesn’t know yet.
Along the way, Patches finds herself in dire circumstances, but with the help of the other neighborhood animals, she faces off against the scariest dog in town and continues on her journey to her special place.
Resources
Social-Emotional Learning Guide
Teaching Guide
Podcast introducing the book on TeachingBooks.net
Little Cat's Luck Book Trailer:
Marion Dane Bauer Answers Young Readers' Questions:
Awards and Recognition
Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List for 2017-2018
Reviews
Starred ReviewThis little cat's luck turns out to be dependent on the kindness of strangers, and that, most satisfyingly, connects back to her own unerring kindness. In free verse that cascades down the pages in short lines—ever so inviting to newly fledged independent readers—Bauer deftly navigates inside cat Patches' adventures after she darts from her cherished home to chase a tumbling leaf. Lost and desperately hungry, she nevertheless spares the life of a tiny captured mouseling who has the courage to ask, "Please!" As Patches realizes, "Making conversation with your dinner / is never / a good idea. / It makes the first bite / so very / hard / to take." Patches in turn is aided by a huge, lonely (and therefore mean) dog, Gus, who spends his pathetic life alone in the yard. It's in his doghouse that Patches gives birth to three unexpected kittens. True, it's all been done before, this clever manipulation of print, extending words down—and sometimes up—a page to reflect their action. But Bauer is a master of that skill and crafts, with remarkably little text, memorable, fully understandable characters with achingly real worries and sorrows. Patches' ultimate understanding of Gus' needs is enchanting, appropriate for a tale that's as much a gentle parable as it is a novel. Bell's softly shaded illustrations are a perfect accompaniment. Excellent for young readers and all cat lovers. (Verse fiction. 7-12)
An inquisitive little calico house cat, on the prowl for a special place all her own, slips through a loose window screen and finds herself outside, where falling golden leaves lure her far away from home. At first, one may think that a cat wandering through town does not make for much of a story. But with deliberate pacing, the feline's adventures escalate, and while her boldness grows, so do readers' trepidations. Indeed, the ensuing encounter with the meanest dog in town reaches climactic suspense, but readers still don't know why the little cat named Patches is seeking a place of her own-though there are some clues. Written in free verse and using concrete poetry elements interspersed with charming black-and-white drawings, the book engages on many levels. The writing in verse shows careful use of words; each sentence is spare but laden with meaning that moves the story forward. The use of free verse also makes the narration intimate and immediate, pulling readers right into the events. The story at its most basic is about families and love, but other themes are present, such as friendship, neglect, bravery, and determination. This is an endearing tale that is told with warmth and humor and a great understanding of love. This companion novel to Little Dog, Lost (S. & S., 2012) shines all on its own. VERDICT A good buy for young readers, whether they are animal lovers or not, and equally appealing to reluctant and voracious readers.

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