Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pilgrim Cat

Pilgrim Cat

Carol Antoinette Peacock
Illustrator:  Doris Ettlinger 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Albert Whitman, 2004   ISBN: 978-0807565322

When Faith and her family make the long journey across the Atlantic in the little ship the Mayflower, Faith makes a friend on the ship. Her new friend is a cat whom she calls Pounce and the little girl and the cat are soon very close. When Faith gets ill as the ship lies off the coast of the New World, Pounce lies by her, keeping vigil and purring her to sleep. It is a hard time for many people die of illness and the future of the new colonists is unknown.

Then, with the help of two of the native Indian people, the Pilgrims begin to build a life for themselves in the new land, learning new ways and new skills. Faith always has Pounce with her until the cat disappears one day. Brokenhearted, Faith wonders if she is ever going to see her beloved pet again.

The author tells us not only the story of the Pilgrims and their adventures, their trials, and their successes. She also shares with us a very simple and loving story about the relationship between a child and her pet cat. By doing so she makes the Pilgrim story seem more real and more tangible, for loving a pet is something many of us can identify with.

Doris Ettlinger’s artwork beautifully sets off this tale with its earthy, lifelike colours, its careful attention to detail, and the many different perspectives and forms of presentation that the artist uses. We are constantly delighted and surprised as we turn the pages, finding new treasures to enjoy each time.