Bound To Stay Bound

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 Hat cat
 Author: Wilson, Troy

 Publisher:  Candlewick Press (2022)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [32] p., col. ill., 23 x 27 cm

 BTSB No: 954414 ISBN: 9781536213669
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Cats -- Fiction
 Human-animal relationship -- Fiction
 Old age -- Fiction
 Caregivers -- Fiction
 Hats -- Fiction

Price: $22.58

Ever since the old man found a little kitten under his hat, the two have been the best of friends. Every day, Hat watches as the old man goes outside to sit and feed the squirrels, but Hat the cat is not allowed to join him. When people come by to take care of Hat until the old man returns, will one little girl give Hat the chance he's been hoping for?

 Illustrator: Coy, Eve

   Kirkus Reviews (12/01/21)
   School Library Journal (12/01/21)
   Booklist (01/01/22)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 12/01/2021 K-Gr 2—An elderly man, who lives alone, takes joy in sitting on his back porch and feeding the squirrels. He places peanuts on his hat and, sitting "as still and welcoming as a grand old tree," he allows the animals to feast. One day he picks his hat up from the bench and discovers under it a very small orange and white kitten. The kitten, promptly named Hat, has the run of the house and can do whatever he likes except go outside. Worried the animal might leave or harm the squirrels, the old man keeps Hat in the house at all times, though the feline clearly wants to venture out. One morning the old man is gone and the kitten is tended to by a woman and her young daughter. During the man's extended absence, the caretakers learn something about Hat that his owner doesn't understand until he returns home. The repetition of text creates a nice flow, while charming pastel watercolors and colored pencil illustrations depict a cozy, plant-filled home and an amiable relationship between cat and human. VERDICT An additional purchase, this would fit in collections dealing with intergenerational relationships and friendships from unexpected places.—Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek P. L., WI - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 01/01/2022 An elderly man who lives by himself sits on his porch each day, feeding the squirrels. One morning, on the bench under his cap, he finds a surprise: a kitten he names Hat. Soon, they’re enjoying teatimes, talk, and playtime. They're inseparable, except for when the man feeds the squirrels—then Hat must remain inside (“If I let you outside, you might leave me. Or you might chase the squirrels . . . or worse”). One day, the man goes out and doesn’t return. While he’s away, a girl and woman come to feed and be with Hat, but he’s mostly on his own, missing his companion. Even when opportunity arises to finally venture outdoors, Hat doesn’t leave, nor does he chase the squirrels; he stays, waiting. Eventually, the man comes home, and they have a happy reunion, including sitting outside on their bench, together. Simply constructed, well-paced lines use repetition to reinforce the pair’s feelings, which are extended in the lovely, expressive watercolor-and-pencil illustrations. An affecting, reassuring portrayal of found family. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.

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