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MRS. KATZ AND TUSH by Patricia Polacco


by Patricia Polacco & illustrated by Patricia Polacco

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-553-08122-5
Publisher: Bantam

Larnel gets to know newly widowed Mrs. Katz when he goes along with his mother to pay a comforting visit; next day, he goes back with a tailless kitten ("Tush") that she agrees to accept "if you'll come and help me with her." So begins a touching friendship between the lonely old immigrant and the young African-American. "Such a person," Mrs. Katz calls him- -her highest praise; they exchange feelings about being excluded from some places, and when he volunteers to share Passover (her first without Mr. Katz) she explains that it's a celebration of freedom: "Like your people, my people were slaves." Tush has kittens--"at last I am a bubee!" Much later, Larnel's babies also think of Mrs. Katz as their grandmother: on the last page, there is a kaddish and a headstone inscription: "Mrs. Katz, Our Bubee...Such a Person." A book full of vibrantly idiosyncratic details; in the energetic illustrations, Polacco combines decorative patterns and lively action with her usual panache. Truly affectionate and heartwarming. (Picture book. 4-9)