Title: Grumpy Cat
Author : Britta Teckentrup
Illustrator: Britta Teckentrup
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc; 2008
Audience: Ages 3 – 6
Summary: This wonderfully simple story is one of Grumpy Cat, who is a loner, always in a bad mood, and has no friends. Grumpy Cat is aloof and appears to not need other cats. A bad, bad storm causes a little kitten to show up and as expected, Grumpy Cat wants no part of this baby. The little kitten needs someone to care for it because it is so small and without a mother. Just like a kitten, it follows Grumpy Cat around trying to interact and get the attention of Grumpy Cat. In an effort to lose the kitten, Grumpy Cat climbs a tree. The kitten follows Grumpy Cat up the tree and goes out on a thin limb before slipping. Grumpy Cat quickly grabs the kitten and carries the kitten down the tree to safety. It is at this point in the story that Grumpy Cat begins to nurture the kitten. Grumpy Cat goes off and returns with a large fresh fish for them to share. Grumpy Cat and kitten share the fish and eat until they are full and content. Grumpy Cat and kitten become good friends and Grumpy Cat loses its grumpy personality. They are loving and kind to each other.
Literary elements at work in the story: This story is in a narrative form and tells a story showing the importance of friendship and also of helping those who are in need. The story is well-illustrated in a simple form that displays the details and personalities of the characters. The characters are central to the story. The book is very well illustrated in a simplistic style. The illustrations are essential to the story and the story comes alive because of the illustrations. The illustrations show wonderfully dramatic facial expressions, as well as groupings of the cats displaying separation and togetherness – all while focusing on the characters and the characters’ actions.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story? The idea of changing one’s attitude to include others is of foremost importance in this story. In reflecting on differences in others, whether it is race, gender, economics, or personalities (as is the case in this story) we are all one with God and God includes all creatures.
Theological Conversation Partners: Our lives require us to take risks almost every day with other people. We risk losing our privacy or our space, but when we reach out in love to others we are allowed the gracious goodness available to us through Christ. This gracious goodness should be part of our lives to others, especially others who are in need.
Faith Talk Questions:
- When you begin reading the story, what are your thoughts about Grumpy Cat’s personality?
- Why doesn’t Grumpy Cat have any friends?
- How does Grumpy Cat’s life change once he opens himself up to the kitten?
- How does the kitten’s life change once Grumpy Cat opens himself up to the kitten?
- We don’t always know what happens in other persons’ lives. What is the reason, as you see it, that Grumpy Cat was always in a bad mood?
- Had Grumpy Cat not taken the kitten in and loved it, how would the outcome of the story have changed? How would your feelings have changed if there had been a different outcome?
This review was written by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Becky Albright.
Grumpy Cat by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.