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FOR THE LOVE OF AUTUMN by Patricia Polacco


by Patricia Polacco & illustrated by Patricia Polacco

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-399-24541-1
Publisher: Philomel

In this paean to a feline friend, Polacco tells how the love of a cat leads to comfort, worry and romance. Student-teacher Danielle adopts Autumn as a kitten and brings her to Washington state when she gets a job there. All is well in their “enchanted cottage by the sea” until a wounded Autumn disappears on a stormy night. Danielle’s young students help her search, to no avail. Six weeks later, Danielle and her students plant flowers to memorialize Autumn, and, as if summoned, Autumn appears—with stitches on her tail! A stranger has cared for the cat, and when he scrawls his number on Autumn’s collar, Danielle phones him at the children’s urging. When he shows up, it’s clear that Danielle and Stephen are meant to be, complete with romance-movie effects. The unabashed focus on Danielle’s fairy-tale–like romance seems to appeal more to an adult sensibility than a child’s, and some might wonder at the students’ close involvement in their teacher’s private life, but child readers will doubtless respond to Autumn’s genuinely vivid personality. (Picture book. 7-10)