Authors: Merrill Farnsworth, Kami Winngham, and Mac Pirkle
Illustrator: Brian Parker
Publisher: Abington Press
Audience: Ages 4-8
Summary: Charlie is a “cool cat” living in the town of Catville. One day he gets word that his country cousins have fallen on hard times. Charlie buys a tuna and sets off for his cousins’ house. The most direct route would be through Dogville, so Charlie decides to take a detour. He is attacked by a mountain lion. The mountain lion is scared off by Bubba Bulldog, the biggest, meanest dog in Dogville. As Charlie lies on the ground, a white cat passes by but refuses to help. An alley cat passes by and steals the tuna. Bubba growls at the alley cat until he drops the tuna and runs off. Bubba takes Charlie to the emergency room and pays for his treatment. Then he delivers the tuna to Charlie’s cousins. Charlie and Bubba become best friends.
Literary Elements at work in the story: The book is a retelling of the Good Samaritan. The characters are cats and dogs. Small children will understand that cats and dogs generally do not like each other.
Perspective on gender/race/culture/economic/ability: The characters are cats and dogs. There is no implicit or explicit perspective on gender/race/culture/economic ability. All of the characters are referred to as “he,” although some could be female.
Scripture: Luke 10:25-37
Theology: Helping others, accepting differences
Faith Talk Questions:
- Would Charlie usually ask a dog for help? Why or why not?
- Who would Charlie think would help him? Why does the white cat refuse to help? What does the alley cat do instead of helping Charlie? Why would he do this?
- Why would Bubba Bulldog help Charlie? What are things Bubba did to help Charlie?
- Who are some people you could help? How could you help them? (Lead the discussion to small kindnesses the child could do for others—family members, friends, classmates, grandparents, people at church, etc.)
Review prepared by Mary Anne Welch
Filed under: Book Reviews, Books written for Grades 1 -3 (Ages 6-8), Faith Questions For...., Picture Books, Young Children, Younger Elementary Tagged: | Animals, Compassion, Good Samaritan, kindness, love