Monday, May 30, 2011

I am Tama, Lucky Cat

I am, Tama, Lucky Cat by Wendy Heinrichs

I was so excited when I signed up for netGalley and this was a book option to view. I had just looked through a catalog at work that this book was in, and wondered if it would be any good and if the students would enjoy it. I felt lucky myself, to have had the opportunity to read it.

NetGalley's summary of the book:

Long ago, under the shadow of the white-capped mountains of Japan, a Lucky Cat, bobtailed and white with unusual markings, arrives at the door of a rundown temple. A kind and gentle monk welcomes him.

Tama the Lucky Cat watches as his new master teaches Buddha’s ways to small gatherings of poor farmers. The monk worries about the people’s welfare, ignoring his own empty stomach. One night in a powerful thunderstorm Tama sees a towering warlord on a white horse. The cat beckons the warrior to him just as a large branch crashes to the ground, landing right where the warlord had previously stood. In thanksgiving to the Lucky Cat for saving his life, the warlord lavishes gifts on the temple and makes it his family’s place of honor.

I loved this book! I loved the illustrations, the story, and how it was told. My favorite part is when Tama, a Japanese Bobtail, is explaining that he does his best to contribute to the well being of the temple. The little monk isn't able to feed himself, but he still makes room in his temple for a stray cat, whom he names Tama. Tama repays him in the small ways that he can, by keeping the temple free of mice who would eat their small stores of rice, and snuggling close to the monk at night to help keep him warm. Tama does indeed prove to be a lucky cat, by saving the life of warlord, when he beckons the warlord forward with his little raised lucky paw, out from under a falling tree. The warlord thanks the lucky cat by making the temple a place of honor for his family, and the inhabitants of the temple are no longer hungry or cold.

This is definitely a book I would add to my own personal library and also would like to see in our school library.

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