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The Cat Who Walked Across France by Kate…

The Cat Who Walked Across France

by Kate Banks

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The cat and the old woman have lived happily together for many years in the stone house by the sea. But when the old woman dies, the cat is packed up with her belongings and sent north to the village where she was born. Soon he is forgotten. He walks the streets aimlessly until, spurred by memories and a longing to return to the place he knows and loves, the cat embarks on a journey to find the home he was taken away from.
  keiry.lopez | Nov 19, 2018 |
This was a very moving story about a cat travelling the word to return home. Even though, there are new people in his new home, they treat him well and he is happy to be back to a place he remembers.

A teacher could ask her students to write about a time they traveled to an exciting place and write about what they did and why they traveled there. The teacher could also ask their students to write about a place they want to travel to and why. ( )
  cnemetz | Oct 7, 2018 |
A cat who lives on the seaside in the south of France is displaced after his beloved owner passes away. He finds himself on the crowded streets of Paris and he wants to find his way back to Provence. This is the story of his journey through the countryside and the people whom he meets along the way.

I think the illustrations are oil paintings. The brushstrokes are visible in these rich landscapes and cityscapes and the reader has the impression that the artist sat outside with an easel and painted them.

I like this book because it's pretty and it offers some beautiful reminders of countryside of France: castles, canals, fields of lavender, train tracks.

I don't think this story would be very good for teaching story arc; however, it might be useful for eliciting vocabulary and descriptions associated with the drawings. For example, we can see the Pont du Gard,the Eiffel Tour, and some castles. It would be nice to talk about what those things are. ( )
  AlbertPascal | Jan 15, 2018 |
I loved this book! Such a fun way to view a new place. The perspective of the cat was funny too!
  emilyauer | Nov 17, 2015 |
The cat loves living in his house by the sea with the old woman who pets him gently and calls him "good kitty." When the old woman dies, the cat is sent away along with the rest of her stuff to the north of France. Unhappy with his new situation, the cat travels all the way across France - through farmland and cities, past shooing adults and chasing children - until he arrives back home at the small house by the sea and meets the new family living there.

Compared to so many other children's books (other than bedtime stories), this is a rather placid and calm book, which can provide for a nice change of pace. The language is lyrical, but it is not the usual singsong or mad-dash rhyming seen in children's picture books; rather it has a comforting kind of tone to it. Similarly the oil-painting reminiscent illustrations are full of vibrant and bright colors, but these do not feel overstimulating. They remind me of some of Vincent VanGogh's paintings - lively yet with a kind of soothing effect as well. Those who are familiar with France will recognize the landscapes and buildings in the background of these illustrations.

This book provides some interesting fodder when it comes to food for thought and topics of discussion with young children. The book rather matter of factly addresses the death of the old woman and moves on with the rest of the story. You can use this book to gently bring up the concept of death with young children who haven't been exposed to it yet -- or to talk with those kids who have lost a loved one and compare their experiences and emotions with those of the cat. You can also discuss how the cat is courageous and single-minded in achieving his goal, despite all obstacles, and tie this into a specific thing that your children are trying to reach in their own lives, whether that being doing well at school, getting better at a sport, or working on an artistic project, etc.

I first shared this book with my kindergarten class when we were talking about France as part of an "around the world" unit. The kids were excited to see illustrations that matched some of the photographs we saw of places around France. They all liked this book so much that they asked to hear it read aloud several times and many of them went back to look at it on their own later. Most recently, I read this book to my 4-year-old niece who was similarly enraptured with it. I would very much recommend this book as a read aloud/together for preschool- and elementary-aged children. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Jan 2, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374399689, Hardcover)

Condense The Incredible Journey to its purest essence then add the most exquisite, vividly painted illustrations, and there you have The Cat Who Walked Across France.

A cat lives contentedly for many years in a seaside village, until his old mistress dies and he is shipped off to another town far away. Lonely and ignored, the gray kitty sets off on an odyssey, lured by memories of "the tangy smell of lemons ripening on a branch under a window at the stone house by the edge of the sea," and driven by "the taste of the salty air that blew off the water and coated the bench behind the stone house by the edge of the sea." Returning finally to his home seaport, the paw-sore old cat finds the door to his stone house still open and inviting. Readers will be pleased (and not surprised) to learn that the new residents welcome the brave and determined fellow with open arms and dishes of food.

Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben, who have teamed up on several gorgeous and award-winning picture books, including Close Your Eyes, are a creative match made in heaven. Lovely! (Ages 5 and older) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:39 -0400)

After his owner dies, a cat wanders across the countryside of France, unable to forget the home he had in the stone house by the edge of the sea.

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