A boy’s generosity toward animals in need reaps great rewards.
In this beautiful book by German author/illustrator Danowski, a little white boy named Tony wakes up surrounded by his stuffed animals, eagerly anticipating a party to benefit the local animal shelter. He makes the bold decision to donate his beloved stuffed animals for the raffle. At the shelter, he meets a special cat named Valentine and hums a tune to him called “Little Night Cat” (music for the sweet, melancholy song composed by the author is included at the end of the book). A wallpaperlike design in reds and blues ushers readers from the endpapers into the cozy corners of Tony’s home, drawing them into the detailed setting. The illustrations, rendered in pen and ink, watercolor, and gouache, have soft, fuzzy edges and rounded corners that amplify the fuzziness of the real and stuffed animals. Occasional wordless double-page spreads invite readers to linger on the pages to examine the details of Tony’s home: framed pictures of animals on the walls, his mother’s cello in an open case, cat-patterned fabric hanging as his curtains. Children will empathize with Tony’s anxieties, disappointments, and ultimate happiness as he lives with the consequences of his decision, with the guidance of understanding, caring adults.
A gentle story that children will return to time and time again. (Picture book. 5-8)