Laura's Reviews > Three Samurai Cats: A Story from Japan

Three Samurai Cats by Eric A. Kimmel
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's review
May 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, children-s, picture
Read in May, 2012

A Japanese daimyo is stuck with a big, mean rat who rules the castle. He rides off to a shrine to ask a docho for a cat to defeat this rude rodent. The first two cats are defeated and so a third cat is sent -- he is old, feeble, and spends most of his time sleeping and eating. Finally, the rat is crushed by a ball of rice and ends up slinking away from the castle. The moral? "Draw strength from stillness" and let the opponent defeat himself.

Kids will find the story silly and fun while adults will appreciate the wily wise cat's tactics. My only complaint is that the story feels very Americanized -- I wonder about the tone of the original Japanese tale and how it contrasts will Kimmel and Gerstein's version. Recommended for folktale and trickster tale lovers in K - grade 2.
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