A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows cat activities and habits (eating, sleeping, cleaning themselves and each other, using the litter box). Shows how someone older can teach younger ones how to do things. Shows growing up from little to big, even to the size of your teacher. Touches on how it feels to lose a friend, or a pet.
When you lose someone you love, it's hard and you feel sad. If you lose an animal, getting a new one can help you feel better.
Positive Role Models
The big white cat is kind and patient with the little black cat and teaches him everything he needs to know. He plays with him even though he's younger. The cats go wild and crazy sometimes and nap other times, because they need their rest. Little cat models how it feels to lose a friend: It's hard and makes you sad. The little black cat grows up and becomes a kind, patient teacher for the new little white cat.
Violence & Scariness
Death is not mentioned in the text, but when the old white cat goes away and doesn't come back, readers can assume he died.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Elisha Cooper's Big Cat, Little Cat is a sweet story of feline friendship and loss that won a 2018 Caldecott Honor. The little, young black cat comes to live in the home where the big, adult white one has lived alone. They quickly become friends, and the little cat grows to be bigger than the big cat. The white one gets older and appears to have died (all it says is "one day he had to go ... and he didn't come back"), and the black one is sad. Then one day a little white one comes, and the big black one shows him the ropes, mirroring the lessons the big cat had taught him. With graphically bold art and lots of heart, it's a spare story that conveys the cycle of life in simple terms kids can grasp.
Is It Any Good?
This graphically stunning picture book uses just two colors -- black and white -- to tell a sweet story of love, loss, and growing up. Kids will relate to learning how things are done from older kids and adults as they strive to do all the stuff they can do. And families coping with the loss of a pet will find comfort in a message of resilience in Big Cat, Little Cat that still acknowledges how hard that kind of loss can be. The cute drawings of cats playing, "working," snuggling, and sleeping, are irresistible.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.