Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Valentine Cat

The Valentine Cat

Ann Whitehead Nagda
Illustrator:  Stephanie Roth 
For ages 7 to 9
Holiday House, 2008   ISBN: 978-0823421237

As far as Jenny is concerned, life is very unfair. Her baby brother has developed asthma, and the doctor told Jenny’s mother that Munchkin, Jenny’s cat, is going to have to live somewhere else. Why can’t Jenny’s brother move out instead? Jenny’s friend Richard offers to take Munchkin to live at his house, and though this would mean that Jenny could see Munchkin all the time, Jenny cannot help worrying that Munchkin might forget her and grow to like Richard more than her. Jenny desperately wants Munchkin to be “her very own cat forever.”

Jenny is already feeling more than a little glum when one of her classmates, Susan (who is good at everything) suggests that the kids have a pet party in their classroom on Valentine’s Day. The teacher, Mrs. Steele, is in favor of the plan, and so are most of the other kids, but thinking about a pet party just makes Jenny feel worse. She won’t have a pet by the time Valentine’s Day comes around.

Jenny takes Munchkin to live at Richard’s house, but she cannot help being worried about her beloved pet. What if Munchkin never gets used to Richard’s dog, Wolf, and what if she never purrs again? If Munchkin and Wolf cannot get along, who is going to be willing to take Munchkin in?

In this sweet story, children will see how someone like them, a very ordinary little girl, finds a way to help her pet cat. Having to give him away makes her feel helpless and upset, but she does not give up, and she works to find a solution to the Munchkin problem.

With its uplifting story and its mischievous feline character, this chapter book is sure to appeal to young readers.