There was a cold wind. It smelled like snow.
Bernie and his wife Marion have a tendency to take in anything that needs a home.
Whether it be a duck, goose, goat or horse…if some poor soul needs a place to be, they will be that place.
Enter Whittington, a cat with a chip on his shoulder and a history that could knock anyone socks off.
His left ear hung down like a loose flap. He wasn’t old, but he looked beaten up.
Abby and Ben live with Bernie and Marion and are having a hard time adjusting without their parents – Ben especially.
He just can’t settle and focus in school, and is falling evermore behind.
The one thing he does love is spending time at the barn – with the horses, the chickens and, especially, Whittington.
And, despite himself, the cat realizes he cares too. And so…the cat tells a story.
The cat settled himself in his dignity and wrapped his tail tight around.
And that story, changes their lives forever.
Overall, I liked this book quite a bit.
The illustrations were really well done and I enjoyed Armstrong’s world.
The talking animals do present a bit of a problem when it comes to meat on the dinner table, but Bernie is clearly the kind of man who saves, rather that eats, his farm animals.
I liked the back-and-forth between Whittington’s story and the real events that Ben and Abby deal with – and (quite possibly) my favorite part is that there is not miracle cure.
Ben has troubles reading (dyslexic) and throughout the book, it is a reoccuring problem. I happy he wasn’t cured (before you reel back in horror – please continue reading).
So many books rely on that insta-cure that it can be disheartening.
It’s so frustrating that so many books jump to that happy ending but doesn’t show the struggle, the heartache and the fortitude to get there.
I liked that Ben wasn’t “cured” because in real life, there isn’t always a cure.
Things can (and often do) get better…but that doesn’t mean that people will always be cured. It’s incredibly important to show that to kids – that you can have a diagnosis and not be cured and still have happiness.