Lost and Found Cat by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes
📚 BOOK REVIEW 📚 Title: Lost and Found Cat Author: Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes Illustrator: Sue Cornelison Publisher: Dragonfly Books Type: Non-Fiction Age: 5-11 Rating: N/A🌟 🌸 Islamic Content: Visibly Muslim family 🌸 Concerns: "Dias is the Greek name for Zeus, the king of the ancient Greek gods." Also, Valentines day is referenced. 🌸 Summary: A mother, her son and four daughters are fleeing Mosul to find safety. They had left everything behind, except for a bag full of food and water and a basket where they hid their cat, Kunkush. They knew the smugglers would ask them for a large amount of money for the cat, so they made sure to hide Kunkush and keep his presence a secret along the entire journey. They travelled by car, walked for hours, resided in temporary homes, sailed in an overcrowded rubber boat to make it safely to the Island of Losbos in Greece. Finally, while unloading from the boat, Kunkush is able to escape from the basket. The family searched for hours for Kunkush with no avail. Heartbroken, they boarded the bus to continue their journey to a new home. The volunteers helping the refugees on the island, find Kunkush, lost and starved and take him under their care. Determined to find his family, through Facebook and news outlets, they make the lost cat's story public. Finally, Kunkush is united with his family in their new home in Norway. 🌸 Review: This is a unique way to narrate the unfortunate journey of a refugee family: following the travels of their family pet. This story is meant to show compassion between the people of different walks of life that are all connected through Kunkush. Many realities of a refugee's journey are displayed here. The difficult decision that many families make due to their life-threatening circumstances at home is something unimaginable to many of us. On top of that, the risks they take in hopes to find a new home, a safe environment and a better future for their families is extraordinary. Because of first hand experience, I am naturally drawn towards refugee stories in children's books. I love the soft illustrations throughout the story. However, for me personally, the written text and language does not do it justice to the powerful story it could have been. It was written in such a matter-of-fact style that I couldn't really connect with it emotionally. The one part that threw me off was, while the cat was under the care of the volunteers, they decided to name him Dias and the author ensured to mention that this was the "name of the king of ancient Greek gods." Unfortunately, this will not sit well with many Muslim families. To be honest, I don't see the huge relevance to the overall story. Because this is based on a true story, I feel like out of respect for the family's obvious beliefs, it should have been left out. When I read it to my son, I skipped over that part, just because I think it would have added a layer of confusion that he isn't ready for. Also, I don't want him to get the idea that the word God should be used loosely. Rather it belongs only to the One and the Only Creator. This book would not be something that can be used in a masjid and I can't really see that Islamic schools would want to keep this in their collection.