OSCAR THE GUARDIAN CAT, by Chiara Valentina & Segre Paolo Domeniconi

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Inspired by the true story of Oscar, a special cat who watches over the residents of Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

Oscar the Guardian Cat lives at Hope House along with Nurse Dolores, Dr. Goodhelp, and the grandparents of many children who come to visit. The story is told from Oscar’s perspective as he watches over his friends during their most important journey. This is a unique and touching picture book that can be used to help talk to children about their grandparents’ final journey, not as something tragic, but as a moment of reconciliation and understanding.

Chiara Valentina Segre has a PhD in molecular oncology and works in science communications. She has published several picture books and novels for children. She lives in Milan, Italy.

Paolo Domeniconi studied art and worked for several years in advertising before focusing on children’s book illustration. He lives in Spilamberto, Italy.

Out April 3, 2018

MY THOUGHTS:

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

First, wow, the illustrations! Just beautiful!

This is such a beautiful story from the perspective of a cat who lives among the elderly and sees things from a unique and unusual point of view. He shares his thoughts in this story.

My Rant:  The standards of what makes a picture book, a first reader, a chapter book, or an early reader need to change.  Kids today are moved along at a faster and less gradual pace in development than they used to be and with this fact, reading materials need to change to meet their developmental needs.  Younger kids are learning to read earlier, they are using vocabulary that was deemed used by older kids ten years ago, and they desire to know things more/early-on, are more involved with world issues and are affected by issues in family situations and family dynamics. Let’s face it, with the rise of technology, very young kids are doing far more than what kids from my generation faced. This goes to say, that development changes must include children who read “picture books.”  At one time, picture books had to be only so many pages, have only so many words and NOT include topics deemed inappropriate for their ages… this… is outdated.  Change is inevitable, publishers pay attention! Rant finished.

This book may be criticized for having too many words, too many pages and the fact that both issues exist is because of the translation from Italian to English is overlooked. However, I felt this book was perfect for picture book readers.  The topic is about dying, and the book could be used as a perfect tool in explaining the final journey in life for Gramma or Grandpa, and done so keeping in mind the age of the children, using beautiful illustrations and appropriate language for kids of today.

I plan on donating it to my local library for their shelves. It’s a book that every family needs to read.

I gave this book:

 

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