THE BROKEN CAT by Lynne Rae Perkins


Age Range: 5 - 8
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A trip to the veterinarian to have under-the-weather cat Frank examined turns out to be less painful than expected for the cat’s owner, Andy. While Frank waits to see the doctor, Andy’s mother, grandmother, and aunt relate the story of how his mother broke her arm in third grade. The vet patches up Frank’s head wound, acquired by fighting with another cat, and he is sent home to recuperate. Andy, concerned about Frank suffering, wonders if her arm was painful during the entire time it was broken. Andy’s mother reassuringly reviews the course of her discomfort and gradual recovery. Naturally, “ . . . that’s how it happened with Frank,” who first has a collar so that he cannot disturb his head bandages. Eventually, he starts to eat again, and the fur on his shaved head grows back as his wound heals. The last picture shows Frank out in the grass again, after a seemingly full convalescence, just like Andy’s mother. Perkins (All Alone in the Universe, 1999, etc.) successfully fuses text and pictures to help Andy cope with anxiety about his cat’s health. It’s easy to keep the two storylines separate since the pictures from the past have curvy, indistinct margins, while those that tell Frank’s story are rectangular. The soft watercolors strike just the right note of gentleness in this tender story of a broken cat, a broken arm, and the healing power of love. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-029263-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2002


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