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Dick Whittington and His Cat
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Dick Whittington and His Cat

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  229 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The well-loved tale of the London waif whose cat's prowess as a ratter results in Dick's becoming a successful merchant and Lord Mayor of London. Illustrated.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 30th 1988 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 1950)
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Community Reviews

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“Dick Whittington and his Cat” is a Caldecott Honor Book by Marcia Brown that is about how a poor boy named Dick Whittington has his life changed when he buys a cat to get rid of some troublesome mice. “Dick Whittington and his Cat” is a charming book that children will love for many years.

Marcia Brown has done a terrific job at both illustrating and writing this book. Marcia Brown gives the story a dramatic and depressing tone as the reader can feel Dick’s pain whenever he is mistreated by the
Kristine Hansen
I've perhaps been poisoned by the internet because the first thing I thought when I picked up this book was "Oh no, it's about the Black-Eyed Children" (look it up).

OK, creepy illustrations aside, this bit of folklore has been around for literally centuries. The story is intriguing in that no one seems able to figure out how much is fact and how much fiction, much like Robin Hood and other such stories. Not entirely sure what the moral was or even if there was one. The picture of the rats in the
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Caldecott Honor 1951 - I am not even rating this. I think a 1 star would be too much. It is going to be slow going for the next several decades of Caldecott Honor Picture books.
Rebecca Tenbrook
Feb 04, 2014 Rebecca Tenbrook rated it did not like it
I chose this book because it was a Caldecott winner and because it was a realistic tale and I wanted to read more of those types of traditional tales. I am going to be honest, I did not like this book. I was not interested in the reading at all and I don't know how kids of the 21st century would be interested in it as well. Now this book was written in 1950 and the language in this book is fairly easy to follow along with, it does incorporated some old English language that even I had a hard tim ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Samantha rated it it was ok
A poor young boy in London buys a cat known for being a good mouser. The cat helps not only the boy, but royalty both near and far and it is the cat's skills that make the poor young boy a rich man. Pictures are linoleum cuts. The story was just okay for me. I was rooting for the boy and the cat to be reunited, not for the cat to serve merely as the means for the boy to rise above poverty.
Dec 30, 2011 John rated it it was ok
Caldecott Honor Book, 1951

Dick Whittington and His Cat is told and cut in linoleum.

Favorite illustration: page 8 (it is creepy)

This line made me laugh out loud: "Here the cook saw him, and being an ill-natured hussy, she called out, 'On your way there, lazy rouge, or would you like a scalding to make you jump'"
Oct 13, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I had never heard of this book until I picked it up for the Caldecott Challenge. The book won a 1951 Caldecott Honor, and I thought it had a fabulous story. Dick Whittington is an orphan who travels to London to seek his fortune, but it does not work out like he planned. He ends up working for a wealthy merchant, gets no sleep because of all the mice and rats that run over his bed, and is beaten by the cook. He gets a cat named Miss Puss for a penny and she helps him sleep by taking care of the ...more
Jun 08, 2014 Cynthia rated it liked it
I really cannot imagine reading this book aloud to young readers today- - readers who are accustomed to Klassen & Peter Brown.

Perhaps there will be some who would pour over it as I did-especially during our Mock Caldecott.

I appreciated the illustrations immensely, and see this book in a different light as it is a Caldecott study to me.

Brittany Cullen
This was like many stories where a boy grows up and ends up being a king and marrying and being happy. the boy was alone since he was young and then bought a cat to help him through things. It was an interesting book with really cool pictures and was fun to read and to read to students.
May 07, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful little tale, somewhat of a Cinderella story for boys. The young lad offers up his only possession, a cat, and in the end has more love, money and power than he could ever hope for. The illustrations by Marcia Brown are terrific linoleum cuts using only the colors of white, black and dull gold. We enjoyed reading this book together, but (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 03, 2014 Sam rated it liked it
Shelves: caldecott
Caldecott Honor 1951; Favorite Illustration: near the end when Dick and Alice are talking under the tree.
A traditional English tale of a young boy who makes his fortune by being a hard worker and (luckily) befriending a cat.
This was a cute story, and I appreciated the artistic merit of the pictures, but they just weren't my favorite thing.
Kristin King
Oct 29, 2015 Kristin King rated it liked it
Did not engage my sons as I had hoped, but I enjoyed the layout and woodcut illustrations as well as the old tale. Wasn't reading it for me though.
This title is so familiar, and yet I think this is the first time I read the story. I was intrigued so I did an internet search and learned that this is an old English tale (the earliest version dating to about 1600), which is supposedly based on a merchant named Richard Whittington who was born about 1354 and died in 1423. Apparently, the tale is more fiction than fact.
Mattathias Westwood
The first fairy tale I ever read with the moral "Buy low, sell high".

The woodcuts are perfect for the slightly archaic text. But it's the story itself that's weak. This late medieval Horatio Alger has flat characters and little real conflict. The vivid description of Dick's poverty is powerful, but it's obvious from the start that things will end up well for him. The Moors are exoticized and apparently have no means of pest control until the British merchants bring a cat.

No doubt it was meanin
Laura Hoyler
Mar 28, 2016 Laura Hoyler rated it it was ok
Shelves: caldecott-awards
Hmmmmm, this is not my favorite children's book.....
Mar 29, 2015 Stefanie rated it it was ok
A pretty boring version of Puss in Boots.
Laura Harrison
Mar 28, 2015 Laura Harrison rated it it was amazing
Absolutely glorious. A childhood favorite.
Caldecott Honor winning storybook concerning a folktale around a historical figure. The art was okay, the text a bit wordy. It was a nice read and interesting but nothing all that special.
Jun 30, 2014 Beverly rated it really liked it
I really like the linoleum prints with their thick black outlines, but I don't like the ugly ochre color used to highlight the prints. The legend surrounding Richard Whittington's childhood is well written and very interesting, even if it is not exactly true. The illustrations reflect the action of the story and the ill-treatment of poor Dick by the cook. It would have been nice if Brown could have used more colors in her illustrations, but perhaps that would have been too expensive to produce.
May 18, 2012 Lorna rated it it was ok
1951 Caldecott Honor

Favorite line: "Now Dick had heard of the great city of London. It was said that the people who lived there were all fine gentlemen and ladies, and that there was singing and music all day long, and that the streets were paved with gold."

Favorite illustration: Dick's imagined view of London at the beginning of the story.

Kid-appeal: I think it's too wordy, and not eye-catching enough to help pull kids through this long book.

Taylor Machado
Sep 04, 2012 Taylor Machado rated it liked it
Dick Whittington and His Cat is a cute folk tale about a poor boy who buys a cat to get rid of mice. The cat changes the boys life, the boy sells his cat to a king who gives him a great fortune for the cat. In the end of this story Dick marries a girl named Alice and becomes a lord. I liked this book but I was sad to see that Dick and his cat parted ways.
Jan 11, 2013 Paul rated it liked it
The linocuts Brown uses to illustrate this well-known British story capture well the feel of a medieval story. Like Puss In Boots, the cat proves to be the step-up needed by the boy who has little chance on his own, although in this case, the cat is merchandise rather than a shrewd assistant.
Matt Guendel
Sep 07, 2011 Matt Guendel rated it really liked it
this was a pretty good book I thought the pictures could of been better for kids. Its a good story rags to riches story about a poor boy who becomes a lord thanks the the help of his cat that has crazy abilities. Its a pretty fast read. All in all it was one of the better picture books I read
A meandering and convoluted story that doesn't really seem at all worthwhile in the end. Marcia Brown's illustrations are, as always, lively and creative with charming details. But the story itself is not at all interesting and the ending simply fell flat.
Apr 18, 2016 Molly rated it liked it
This is an English folk tale about a boy who gets a cat that brings him fame and fortune. It was a nice story with good pictures.
Mandy E
Oct 03, 2012 Mandy E rated it liked it
Shelves: for-babes
From boring minor historical figure to pantomime to charming children's tale. The linocut illustrations were lovely.
Nov 18, 2011 Lafcadio rated it liked it
An old folktale, with lovely linoleum cuts for illustrations. Much better than the Margaret Hodges version.
Nov 01, 2012 Bree rated it liked it
longer book -- use for 8+
didn't love the ending
pictures were unique and interesting
The aid cats can give. (The more realistic version of puss in boots?).
Caldecott honor
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Marcia Brown has won the Caldecott Medal three times, the only person to do so until David Wiesner in 2007. She is also the winner of the 1977 Regina Medal, a six-time recipent of the Caldecott Honor, and the winner of the 1992 Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for her lifetime body of work in children's literature.

Brown continued to paint in her studio in California, focusing on Chinese art instead of c
More about Marcia Brown...

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