There are two issues at work in this book that make it a bit ironic that I’m reviewing it. First, the star is a cat. Now, I have very good friends who are cat people and have brought me to an understanding of how important these animals can be. They have not convinced me to be a cat person. Second, the book was shared with me by another friend who knows I already own more books than I can read in a lifetime even though I’ve read fast since my youth – not to mention that I continue to acquire more books on a regular basis and visit the library often.
That said, I must recommend Lost and Found Cat by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes, both volunteers with refugees who were involved in this true story. It follows a family of a mother and four children being smuggled out of Mosul in Iraq who are intent on keeping their cat named Kunkush hidden from the smugglers. They safely pass from one place to another through a Kurdish village and Istanbul. After a treacherous boat ride to the Greek Island of Lesbos, Kunkush escapes though a break in its carrier. No amount of searching finds the cat, and the brokenhearted family must move on without him.
The rest of the story has volunteers and the modern wonder of Facebook bringing a happy ending. The beautiful illustrations of Sue Cornelison enhance the story, particularly her ability to express the many different feelings of the family and their fellow travelers in their facial expressions. I recommend sharing this read and a discussion afterwards with a child in your life.