Saturday, November 22, 2014
Odie the Stray Kitten & Odie's Best Friend
We just got Odie the Stray Kitten and Odie's Best Friend for review. These books were written by Kristen Mott, and illustrated by Lowell Hildebrandt.
Eli read Odie the Stray Kitten to the girls while I took pictures.
It's a sweet little story, but I want to caution adoptive parents. There are abandonment themes in both books.
In the first book, Odie loses his mother, brothers, and sisters in the cold, snowy woods. He eventually finds a farm with a warm barn, and is welcomed by a girl and her cat, Bandit.
The second book, Odie's Best Friend, tells the story of how Bandit came to be at the farm where Odie ended up.
Hannah and I took turns reading this aloud (a page for you, a page for me). She's a second grader, and the reading level was perfect for her.
Bandit's story is very sad. He starts as a kitten with an owner that he loves.
Then the girl's family has to move, and cannot take the cat. Bandit ends up at an animal shelter.
Which had some uncomfortable parallels to an orphanage. And it gets worse. The family that adopts Bandit from the shelter takes good care of him, but "doesn't love him," so he runs away. Not the message I want to be sending my girls.
Eventually, Bandit finds a new home, and learns to trust again, and guess what? More loss. The woman moves away and leaves him. I cannot in good conscience recommend the second book to adoptive families. Other families might enjoy the whimsical drawings and see the eventual friendship of the two cats as a happily ever after story, but for kids from hard places, I'm afraid the take away is, "Don't get too comfortable, because life has a way of yanking the rug out from under you again and again." Our kids don't need to be reminded of that.
I wanted to like these books, I really did. I just don't think they're a good choice for adopted children.
You can connect with author Kristen Mott through her blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
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