Monday, October 5, 2015

Book of the Week: Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats

Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats

by Alicia Potter
Illustrated by Birgitta Sif
Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-385-75334-0
Ages 3-7

“When Miss Hazeltine opened her Home for Shy and Fearful Cats, she didn’t know if anyone would come. But come they did.” They come with all sorts of problems—fear of mice and birds; inability to pounce or purr. And then, there is Crumb, who stands out even among the shy and fearful for his timidity. Miss Hazeltine gives lessons: Bird Basics, Climbing, Scary Noises, Meeting New Friends, “How Not to Fear the Broom.” She also tells Crumb she’s afraid too, of mushrooms, and owls, and the dark. So when Miss Hazeltine trips on the way home one evening and ends up with a twisted ankle in a dark woods full of mushrooms and owls, she tries to think positive thoughts. So do the cats, who are waiting for her back home, alone and afraid. It is Crumb who rallies them all leading the no-longer-shy-and-fearful-cats on a rescue mission. Alicia Potter’s superb storytelling is laugh-out-loud funny but also offers a sensitive look at anxiety and shyness. Birgitta Sif’s marvelous illustrations range from full page to spot (on) and delightfully expand on the story’s humor and warmth. ©2015 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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