The Klondike Cat
Illustrated by Paul Mombourquette
Ages 4 to 6
Kids Can Press, 2002, 1-55337-013-9
Noah's father has caught a fever that is rushing across the country. What Noah's father has is a bad case of gold rush fever and he has decided that he and Noah are going to head north as soon as spring arrives. Noah is very upset when his father says that Noah's cat Shadow has to stay home. Being a determined boy and loving his cat very much Noah smuggles Shadow into one of his bags and soon the three of them are on a ship heading north.
On board the ship Noah nearly loses Shadow and his father is not too pleased to see the cat but Noah promises to take care of Shadow and the cat gets to travel with his boy after all.
It turns out that the journey from the coast to where the gold fields lie inland is a very hard one. Noah and his father have to carry load after heavy load up the Chilkoot Trail. All the time Noah worries that his father will make him get rid of the cat and then Shadow surprises them all. Maybe bringing the cat wasn't such a bad idea after all.
This simple little story about a child's love for his pet set against the backdrop of an extraordinary historical event is both fascinating and heart warming. The artwork is warm and rich, perfectly capturing the hard life that Noah, Shadow, and Noah's father have to bear.
A "Historical Note" at the back of the book provides the reader with more information about the Klondike gold rush.
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