Format: hardcover picture book
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? This book is absolutely enchanting, and it is an amazing story of survival and resilience as well. A family -a mother and her five children- fleeing their home in Iraq, decides to smuggle their beloved cat, Kunkush, among their belongings. After a journey fraught with difficulties and danger, the family arrives in Greece but Kunkush escapes from his basket and disappears on the island of Lesbos. The heartbroken family needs to continue their journey to a new home in Norway, but thankfully some compassionate volunteers find Kunkush and begin the almost impossible task of locating his family. Warm, colorful illustrations add to this story and show how sadness over a lost pet is universal. When the family and their cat are finally reunited, readers will be cheering. At the end of the book, readers can enjoy several pages of photographs of Kunkush, his family, and his rescuers (among whom are the authors of the book). An author’s note and map round out this timely and accessible book for children about the plight of refugees. Top notch.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing. Readers will be saddened by an update about Kunkush in the author’s note, but even so this is still an uplifting story.
To whom would you recommend this book? Read Alikes? Recommend this book to pretty much everyone, especially children who like true animal stories and teachers wanting to introduce the difficulties facing refugees. Also recommend Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago and The Journey by Francesca Sanna.
Who should buy this book? Elementary schools and public libraries should purchase this book.
Where would you shelve it ? It could possibly be shelved with the picture books, or in non-fiction under 956.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA
Date of review: January 27, 2017