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Mrs. Katz and Tush

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  1,244 ratings  ·  96 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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Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia PolaccoPink and Say by Patricia PolaccoThunder Cake by Patricia PolaccoThe Keeping Quilt by Patricia PolaccoMr. Lincoln's Way by Patricia Polacco
Best of Patricia Polacco
17th out of 55 books — 45 voters
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. KimmelGolem by David WisniewskiThe Keeping Quilt by Patricia PolaccoWinter Candle by Jeron FrameMrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
Jewish Children's Books
5th out of 45 books — 34 voters

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Community Reviews

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Lisa Vegan
Nov 04, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
Danielle Scharen
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
Oct 25, 2009 Dolly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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!
(NS) Brea M
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
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
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
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
Bianca Arias
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
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
Katie Hanrahan
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
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
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.
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.
Jamie Drutz
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
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
Isabelle Jimenez
This is definitely one of the most touching stories I have ever read. A story of a woman who lost her husband and felt alone was gifted with a kitten by a neighbor boy, and together they become a little family and the little boy asks to join in on Mrs. Katz's religious celebrations, like Passover. Through the years they grow together, and in the end, the little boy, Larnel, who is now grown, goes to her own grave, like she took him to her husbands to say a Kaddish. An inspiring and heartwarming ...more
This is a shorter length story than many of Ploacco's which made me enjoy it more than some of her other works. Mrs. Katz and Larnel live in the same neighborhood and Larnel befriends the lonely childless woman. This interaction results in a life long relationship and learning for each of them. Larnel learns about the Jewish tradition of a stone on a loved ones grave when you visit the gravesite as well as the meaning of Passover. Mrs. Katz takes in the tailess cat Larnel brings to her and names ...more
Patricia Polacco is an amazing author that always creates a story that sucks the readers in. With cultural ties to Russia, books by Polacco can be relied upon to bring culture to the classroom.Mr.s Katz and Tush is a sweet story of an evolving and unlikely friendship between a young boy and a sweet and lonely neighbor lady, Mrs. Katz. An agreement have the kitten Tush taken care of, creates a time for Mrs. Katz to not be so alone, and for the young boy to have a friend. This is a great one for a ...more
Victoria Moore
Patricia Polacco's wonderful children's book "Mrs. Katz and Tush" is one of the most gratifying stories I've ever read about an interracial relationship. Skillfully written to incorporate elements of the Jewish and African-American cultures, of the two main characters Mrs. Katz and Larnel, Polacco does so without sounding preachy or sacrificing any of the general warmth from their cross-generational friendship. Throughout their daily exchanges, the little cat Tush, is ever-present and helps add ...more
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
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
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
Melissa Fordonski
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
Lila Brantley
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
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
Teri-mae Delay
Mrs. Katz is a lonely old Jewish woman; that is, until Larnel brings her a gift. A kitten that Mrs. Katz decides to call Tush. However, Mrs. Katz has Larnel promise that he will come over everyday and help her care for the cat. This produces a wonderful friendship that lasts until Mrs. Katz death.
This book pulls on the heart strings in a way that makes you want to go out buy a cat, and give it to an old lady. This story focuses on the critical issue of religion. This book can be used to help ch
Another story about an unusual friendship, enter old white and Jewish Mrs. Katz and young black Larnel, two seemingly different characters who bond over a mutual concern for Tush, an abandoned cat. Read to me many times as a child, this story engages readers as Mrs. Katz and Larnel reveal they have many commonalities in their lives through shared suffering and triumph in their respective cultures and an unlikely friendship is formed.
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
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