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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Imagines life after death for cats, so could prompt discussions of what happens when pets or people die.
Presents a positive picture of life after death for animals, which may comfort young readers. The cats in Cat Heaven are loved and spoiled. "All cats love Heaven, they know why they're there, they know where the angel cats fly. They'll run past the stars and the moon and the sun...to curl up with God in the sky."
Positive Role Models
God and the angels take good care of the cats in Cat Heaven.
One angel has White skin, one has dark brown. God is shown with pink skin in two images, dark brown in another, tan in another.
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Violence & Scariness
The theme is what happens after a cat dies, but no pet death is shown or mentioned, and the tone is upbeat throughout. The story starts with a cat already on her way to Cat Heaven.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cat Heaven, by Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant, imagines what life after death is like for cats. An angel will greet them at the door, and they can sit on angels' laps and get petted. There are trees and toys, and the cats have all the food they want. God is pictured as a man with white hair and mustache, and he lets the cats lie on his bed. Sometimes God's skin color is pink, other times brown or tan. This gentle, upbeat book assures readers that cats are happy, comfortable, and cared for in the afterlife. It's a companion book to Rylant's Dog Heaven.
Is It Any Good?
This playfully spiritual view of where cats go when they die might help little ones grieve the loss of a beloved pet. Author Cynthia Rylant's tone is light and positive from the start, and the story reassures readers that kitties are having loads of fun in Cat Heaven and getting the kind of love and attention they got on Earth -- but now they're getting it from God and the angels. God even walks around His garden with a cat on His head. With its clever rhyming text and kid-friendly art, this gentle, whimsical view of the afterlife may offer comfort after a sad loss.
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.