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Mrs. Katz and Tush
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Mrs. Katz and Tush

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  1,553 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Larnel doesn't know his neighbor, Mrs. Katz, very well, until he asks her to adopt an abandoned kitten. Mrs. Katz agrees on one condition: that Larnel help her take care of the kitten she names Tush. When Larnel starts spending more and more time with Mrs. Katz to help with Tush, Mrs. Katz tells him stories about coming to America from Poland and about the good times she s ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Dragonfly Books (first published March 1st 1992)
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Lisa Vegan
Oct 30, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
Thanks so much to my Goodreads friend Abigail for recommending this book.

This book touched me deeply and I can see why it was a “Reading Rainbow” book. The last several pages had me close to tears with emotion.

I love how this story shows the power of friendship, and how friends can be like a family. In this case it’s the friendship between a lonely Jewish widow and a neighbor who’s an African-American boy, and also that same Jewish woman and her cat, a cat given to her by the boy.

I love how Yidd
Jan 20, 2012 L12_Robyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mclit
In Mrs. Katz and Tush, an old Jewish widow becomes friends with a young African American boy. The author does a wonderful job of bonding two characters through friendship,weaves the similarities between the two cultures and shows the similar struggles of slavery that the people have endured. Patricia Pollaco continues to impress readers with well developed characters that leave the reader thinking about the bond and kindness of Mrs. Katz and Larnel long after reading the story.

Mrs. Katz is a lo
Patricia Polacco has written so many children’s books that show the true meaning of friendship and “Mrs. Katz and Tush” is no exception! “Mrs. Katz and Tush” is a children’s book by Patricia Polacco which is about an old Jewish woman named Mrs. Katz whose husband had died recently and she ends up making friends with a young African-American boy named Larnel and a stray cat named Tush. “Mrs. Katz and Tush” is a truly wonderful tale about the importance of true friendship that children will enjoy ...more
Oct 25, 2009 Dolly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an amazing story about friendship, compassion and love that transcends race, religion, ethnicity, gender and age. The tale is so sincere and heartfelt; the emotion just pours through and it's a tearjerker in more than one part. I loved this story!
Oct 08, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it
The first time I read this story I was immediately impressed by all of the different examples of kindness illustrated in so few pages. When one of my nieces liked the story, we read it again, and looked for examples of kindness. She even got a pencil and paper so she could tally how many kind things each character did. (Budding scientist, right?) I really appreciated the opportunity to think about how 'kindness in action' looks.
Danielle Scharen
Jan 21, 2014 Danielle Scharen rated it really liked it
Realistic Fiction

This is one of many of Patricia Polacco's complex picture books that incorporates her personal history into an emotion-filled story. This one is a nice story about the growing friendship of a young boy and his elderly neighbor as they car for a kitten together. They become good friends and the boy spends a lot of time with his neighbor. There are obvious themes of friendship in this story, but there are also mentions throughout the book of a connection both characters have due t
(NS) Brea M
Sep 29, 2009 (NS) Brea M rated it really liked it
In Patricia Polacco’s book, Mrs. Katz and Tush, an unlikely friendship unfolds. Mrs. Katz is a lonely widow who is comforted when a young African-American neighbor, Larnel brings her a kitten. He then continues to visit her after school each day. Larnel learns how Mrs. Katz came to the US from Poland, how she met her husband, and he even joins her in celebrating each Jewish holiday. Over the years, Larnel and Mrs. Katz experience life’s ups and downs together from a lost cat to new life (Larnel’ ...more
Sep 27, 2010 Simone rated it it was amazing
Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
Publisher and Date: Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 1992
Grade:2-3 (but can be used for 4th- 5th grade because of the content)

Summary: Larnel is a young African-American boy who lives next door to Mrs. Katz, an elderly Jewish lady. Larner goes to Mrs. Katz's house to giver her a cat for her loneliness, but Mrs. Katz end up giving him lessons about Jewish traditions and cultures. Although the two main characters have a lot of differences and come from diffe
Nov 21, 2011 Maria rated it really liked it
This is an interesting story, a connection story between a Jewish Polish old woman and a young African American boy. I enjoy reading it, but I think the title should be Mrs. Katz and Larnel. This story book portrays two cultures and it makes connections between them across time. Patricia Polacco is skillful in the way she crafts her stories.

The illustrations transmit emotions and mannerisms. All the illustrations are double-spread water color. She uses language and particularly an expression tha
Carlie Engels
Apr 08, 2012 Carlie Engels rated it liked it
Patricia Polacco does a great job developing the characters of Mrs. Katz and Larnel. As their friendship develops and grows, we learn about the similarities between the suffering and triumph of black history and Jewish heritage. Mrs. Katz and Tush was both written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco. The illustrations are full bleed and are double page spreads. The type face is normal and located at the top of most pages. This story could be used to teach about Jewish heritage because Mrs Katz s ...more
Jan 08, 2009 Toby rated it really liked it
Great kids picture book.
Heart warming story of a young African-American boy and an Elderly Jewish widow. Mrs. Katz does not have any family so Larnel gives her a runt of a kitten. Mrs. Katz agrees to take care of the kitten as long as Larnel will come visit. During Larnel's visits he learns about Mrs Katz's family history and Jewish traditions. Larnel and the kitten, Tush, become Mrs. Katz's extended family. I loved the illustrations and the story. Have a tissue if you have leaky eyes.
Nov 21, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I first came across this story on a DVD of Reading Rainbow, and then we received a copy via PJ Library. Five stars for a sweet story about the friendship between an elderly Jewish woman and her young, African-American neighbor. I had a hard time reading the last page without crying and I am not much of a book-cry person.

Recommended for anyone.
Feb 07, 2017 Melki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, cats
A young boy and an lonely woman become lifelong friends - all thanks to a kitten. This one is quite touching.
Jan 22, 2017 Carol rated it it was ok
Children's picture book - I was expecting more from this book based on reviews. It was ok.
Kimberlee Gutterman
This is a great book for teaching children to get to know their neighbor and helping out the elderly. Larnel got to learn all about what it meant to be Polish and he got to bond with Mrs. Katz because he gave her a cat to adopt and he promised to come over every day to help take care of it. This story was very unique because typically you don't find books about a child visiting his neighbor and helping them take care of a pet. This book could also be an example of how much work goes into having ...more
A McCavitt
Jan 07, 2017 A McCavitt rated it really liked it
Love Patricia's books. What an unlikely pair but it works! Great story of friendship between two unlikely people.
Nov 02, 2014 Kaitlin rated it liked it
Mrs. Katz is alone because her husband has passed away. Larnel and his mama visit Mrs. Katz so she has some company during the day when Larnel notices that Mrs. Katz is awfully lonely. Larnel decides to bring Mrs. Katz a cat that is a runt and Mrs. Katz happily takes the kitten in after some thought. This is the start of a beautiful friendship between our main characters and Tush. Mrs. Katz teaches Larnel about her Polish background and traditions and shows Larnel that they are not so different ...more
Bianca Arias
Dec 04, 2014 Bianca Arias rated it liked it
The lesson of learning about the different types of families that are amongst us is the theme of this book presented by Patricia Polacco in "Mrs. Katz and Tush" An elderly Jewish woman in an apartment building is befriended by the Young Larnel. Larnel is kind enough to give Mrs. Katz a cat by the name of Tush and becomes more than friends throughout the book. It is a true heartwarming story of an elderly woman who seems to have been forgotten and only wishes to be loved.

This book addresses sever
Feb 15, 2009 Rian rated it really liked it
Summary: Larnel befriends his elderly neighbor, Mrs. Katz, by bringing her a kitten and helping her to care for the pet. He learns about her husband and celebrates Passover with her, and they come to feel like part of each other's families.

Response: I love Patricia Polacco, and the more I read of her books, the more respect I have for the stories she tells and the way she is trying to bring people together. I read this minutes after having finished Deborah Ellis' "Three Wishes, " and the two boo
Katie Hanrahan
Oct 28, 2014 Katie Hanrahan rated it really liked it
Learn about different types of families in Patricia Polacco's Mrs. Katz and Tush. Young Larnel befriends an elderly Jewish woman from his apartment building and gives her a family. First, he gives her a cat, Tush, and later becomes family himself. This is a heartwarming tale of a woman who wants nothing more than to have people to love.

This book addresses several critical issues in society. First, it deals with death. Mrs. Katz lost her husband years ago and is all alone. It also discusses relig
Jul 23, 2009 Lv2readB rated it it was amazing
Polacco, P. (1992). Mrs. Katz and Tush. New York: Dell Dragonfly Books.

Larnel and his family live near Mrs Katz, a lonely widow who lives alone. When a cat has a litter of kittens in the basement of his building, Larnel brings Mrs. Katz the runt that no one wanted. Mrs. Katz falls in love with the kitten, whom she names Tush because he has no tail. When Tush goes missing and is rediscovered one day, Mrs. Katz and Larnel learn that she is pregnant. Finally, Mrs. Katz is a grandmother! Mrs
Oct 06, 2008 Maureen rated it it was amazing
Larnel, a young African-American boy, and his neighbor,Mrs.Katz, an elderly Jewish widow, begin to forge an unlikely friendship when he asks her to adopt a stray cat. The cat, fondly named Tush, is a wonderful antitdote for Mrs.Katz's loneliness. As they spend more and more time together, they become more than acquaintances , but develop a deep and familial friendship. As Mrs.Katz acquaints Larnel with the Passover traditions, they discover similarities in their respective heritages, as they com ...more
Sep 29, 2014 slieberman rated it really liked it
Mrs. Katz and Tush is the story of the relationship between an elderly Jewish woman and a young African American boy. The boy, Larnel, visits Mrs. Katz with his mother one day, and he learns that she is all alone. So the following day he returns with a kitten for her. Each day afterwards, Larnel visits Mrs. Katz and the kitten, Tush. Throughout the years their relationship grows and she becomes like a grandmother, or bubbe, to him. During their many visits, she teaches him about her Jewish histo ...more
Lila Brantley
Aug 11, 2013 Lila Brantley rated it liked it
An African American boy visits Mrs. Katz daily, a recently widowed Jewish immigrant, who shares stories, and experiences with her young friend. The boy fills a loneliness that Mrs. Katz has since her husband passed and Mrs. Katz teaches the boy how his and her ancestors have had similar struggles with oppression and violence. It is a story that celebrates how friendships and learning experiences can blossom between two seemingly very different people. It is a great picture book. Patricia Polacco ...more
Melissa Fordonski
Nov 29, 2011 Melissa Fordonski rated it liked it
This story of friendship is founded on two overlapping social inequalities from different times in history. A young African American boy named Larnel becomes close friends with his elderly widowed neighbor, Mrs. Katz, when she agrees to adopt a baby cat. Larnel visits Ms. Katz and the kitten, called Tush, everyday, and learns about the hardships Mrs. Katz faced being Jewish during the World War II era. Larnel can understand the hardships she faced, for he knows that his people too have faced har ...more
Apr 18, 2016 Nomre rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely book about friendship between a lonely Jewish widow named Mrs. Katz and her next door neighbors. Larnel goes with his mother every other day to visit their neighbor Mrs. Katz. On one of their visits He hears her tell his mother how lonely she is without her husband who has passed away. Larnel comes back the next day with a kitten for her to keep her company and promises to come by everyday and help her take care of it. Larnel keeps his promise and the two forge a beautiful frien ...more
Dec 02, 2013 Alexandria rated it it was amazing
I love this book and am very surprised that it hasn’t won any awards. The story follows the lives of two neighbors a Jewish woman named Mrs. Katz and a young African American boy named Larnel. After the loss of her husband, Mrs. Katz finds herself rather lonely, that is until she and Larnel develop an amazing friendship. One day Larnel brings Mrs. Katz a stray kitten “Tush” to keep her company. She agrees to keep her as long as Larnel promises to come visit every day. As Larnel starts spending m ...more
Talisa Timms
Patricia Polacco describes the relationship between an elderly Jewish woman and a young African American boy. The boy, Larnel, keeps the widowed woman company through Jewish holidays and everyday life. He brings her a kitten to help keep her company. Larnel helps Mrs. Katz take care of the kitten. In turn, Mrs. Katz teaches Larnel about Jewish celebrations, such as Passover. She relates her struggles as a Jewish woman in America to the adversity faced by African Americans, such as Larnel's grand ...more
Jamie Drutz
Apr 15, 2014 Jamie Drutz rated it really liked it
This book could be educational in so many different ways. Many kids today feel that they have nothing to talk about with the elderly, but this story shows that friendship has no age limit. Throughout the story many different examples of Jewish traditions are mentioned and explained, such as Passover seders, kosher foods, and Yiddish. For many young readers this is something new. The book itself has a vertical orientation with full double bleed pages. There is a lot of white space on each page, w ...more
Mar 02, 2012 Rafael rated it really liked it
Larnel brings a lonely widow named Mrs. Katz a cat to keep her company. They develop a friendship and Larnel learns about the Jewish heritage of Mrs. Katz during their interaction. The author helps readers to see connections between the challenging history of African Americans that parallel the plights of Jewish people. Being raised Jewish myself, I feel the writer did a good job to create a believable character in Mrs. Katz, and the illustrations add to the depiction of the characters in a huma ...more
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