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The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot
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The Christmas Day Kitten (1976)

by James Herriot

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Series: James Herriot picture books

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The illustrations perfectly enhance make this heartfelt story that is from James Herriot’s, wonderful “All Creatures” books, memories of a country vet in Yorkshire, England. ( )
  1Avidfan | Jan 7, 2019 |
From the pen of James Herriot, author of a series of famous and much-loved memoirs for adult readers, detailing his life as a country veterianarian in Yorkshire, comes this poignant but ultimately heartwarming tale for children. It occurs in the home of Mrs. Pickering, a client of Herriot's, who had three basset hounds, and who regularly fed a shy stray cat named Debbie. This feline visitor would come into her home, stand briefly before the fire, and then depart again. Then one snowy Christmas day, in terrible shape, she came back to die, bringing her kitten with her. Debbie's death was terribly sad, but it brought Buster the retriever-cat into Mrs. Pickering's life - the best Christmas present she ever had...

One of a number of picture-books from Herriot, The Christmas Day Kitten has always been one of my favorites. I've read all five of his memoirs, and a number of his children's stories, and I never fail to be moved by their wonderful sense of humanity, and love for "all creatures great and small," or to be entertained and engrossed by the marvelous voice of the narrator. Herriot was undoubtedly an excellent veterinarian, but he was also a talented writer. I had tears in my eyes, as I reread Debbie and Buster's tale, even though I knew what was coming when I started it. The artwork by Ruth Brown, a celebrated British picture-book illustrator whose other titles include A Dark, Dark Tale and Gracie the Lighthouse Cat, is absolutely beautiful, capturing the feline charm of Debbie and Buster and the droopy appeal of the basset hounds. My favorite scene might have been the one in which Debbie disappears across a green Yorkshire field, but they are all beautiful. Highly recommended, to all James Herriot fans, and to anyone looking for poignant animal stories for children that address both the joy and sorrow they bring to the people in their lives. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Dec 22, 2018 |
This is a well-written heartwarming story by James Herriot. Some of the key themes in this story are love, attachment, and loss. In a short period of time Herriot does an excellent job with character development. As a result the reader quickly becomes emotionally involved in the story. Everyone has had pets they have grown to lost and then eventually sadly lost. The stray cat that is befriended in the story sadly dies but brings her kitten to the doorstep of the family that has looked after her. Herriot describes vividly, "When I came back, Mrs. Pickering was still stroking the kitten. The tears had dried, and she was bright-eyed as she looked at me. I've never had a cat before, she said. I smiled. Well, it looks as though you've got one now." You can feel the emotions felt by the characters in the story. The sadness and the joy, the ups and downs of the animals caretakers is evident throughout the story. In addition to the masterful character development by Herriot, he also weaves the themes of caring and love into this realistic fictional piece. ( )
  gsmith3 | Sep 23, 2013 |
Loved this book as a kid. ( )
  DianaLynn5287 | Jun 21, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Herriotprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brown, RuthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Christmas can never go by without my remembering a certain little cat.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031213407X, Hardcover)

The famous veterinarian/writer shares the true story of how an independent-minded stray cat gives a woman and her three Basset hounds a Christmas present.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The famous veterinarian/writer shares the true story of how an independent-minded stray cat gives a woman and her three Basset hounds a Christmas present.

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