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Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2011 *Starred Review* On a sunny day in spring, an elderly cat named Tiger Rose knows that her death is near. Tired and slow, she has been troubled by pains in her legs and a ringing in her ears. She walks around her home in the country, saying good-bye to the parents and children, their sleeping dog, and a scolding blue jay. After greeting the moles, voles, and other animals with unaccustomed gentleness, Tiger Rose lies down beneath the rosebushes and, leaving her body behind, “she was gone, now part of the earth, the air, the sky, the sun—and all.” Approaching a subject that many prefer to avoid, Yolen writes with precision and tenderness. The calm tone of the text is just right: matter-of-fact but compassionate. Reflecting the delicate beauty of the writing, LaMarche’s mixed-media illustrations show equal finesse in line, color, texture, and composition. Nearly every picture seems suffused with soft, golden light. The endpapers bracket the story in a fitting way, depicting a bird’s-eye view of the farm, first at dawn and then in the evening. A quiet tribute to the passage from life into death and, potentially, a comfort to children facing the death of a pet. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2011 K-Gr 2—A poetic picture book about a cat that knows she is at the end of her life. Tiger Rose is old and hurting, and she senses that the time has come for her to leave. No catastrophic event harkens her death, just a natural instinct to go off by herself. It's this sense of nature taking its course that is very soothing and makes the death acceptable to readers. Mirroring the soft tone of Yolen's text are LaMarche's light-filled pastel illustrations. Both elements have an ethereal quality to them, which suggests that this is a celebration of the cat's life as she exits peacefully and with dignity. "She never once looked back as she climbed away from life, leaving her old and tired body behind….now part of the earth, the air, the sky, the sun—And all." Children who are experiencing loss will find this book a comfort. Pair it with Judith Viorst's The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (Atheneum, 1971) and Bill Cochran's The Forever Dog (HarperCollins, 2007) for reassurance that death is a natural part of life.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.