Ghost Cat

Neal Porter Bks/Holiday House/. Jun. 2019. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823442836.
PreS-Gr 2–A young boy suspects there’s a ghost in his house. While he has never really gotten a good look at it, he thinks it might be a cat. He knows this because he used to have a cat. After many days of seeing it out of the corner of his eye, he finally spots it and follows it to the front door, where he finds something new waiting for him. While avoiding an explicit discussion of loss, this marvelous story conveys a young child’s feelings of loneliness and grief. The portrayal of the lost cat as a specter that lingers in the child’s mind is a clever and thoughtful way to show how humans can often see, hear, and feel loved ones after they’ve gone. Most of the digital illustrations are drawn on warm, yellow-hued pages. The ghost cat is lithe, mysterious, and playful, hiding behind fruit bowls and lurking down hallways as the young boy tries to catch a glimpse. The drawings are reassuring and cozy and the ghost cat is never spooky, instead depicted as a hopeful memory of the boy’s missing pet, up to its old antics once again.
VERDICT This story gives parents and caregivers an excellent framework to discuss loss and grief with young children. Recommended for purchase

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