Perfect Picture Book – Friday


“Quaky Cat”

Written by: Diana Noonan

Illustrated by: Gavin Bishop

Published by: Scholastic 2010

Age:  3 – 7 years

Theme: Earthquake, fear, comfort

Open Line:

On a cold Christchurch morning, while the city was sleeping

Before the birds roused him with twitters and cheeping,

Curled up on the end of his friend Emma’s bed,

Tiger woke with a start… and a feeling of dread.

Synopsis: Woken from his sleep and fearful, Tiger flees down the buckling street and up a tree. Later when all is calm he looks for his young owner and finds her in a shelter and realises as he snuggles in her arms that home is the place of caring.

I had early last year reviewed this book and felt I had to bring it back.  With earthquakes still occuring, and the book in reprint this endearing story is intending on being around for a long time…. here is my earlier review..

Why I love this story:  Who wouldn’t? Colourfully illustrated the text allows children to know what it is like to be caught in an earthquake, to understand and talk about it, and to not be fearful.   A glossary of terms in the back makes for discussion.  Author Diana, wanted desperately to help in some way after the September quake and realised instead of wishing, she decided to use the only tools she knew and along with illustrator Gavin Bishop, from the rubble of Christchurch the “Quaky Cat” was born.  A very special book to help children who had lost everything.

Since I last reviewed the book it has been reprinted again and because of its popularity, (touching hearts around the world), allows for distribution overseas. With continuing earthquakes and aftershocks to this day in Christchurch, and the realisation that the city may never be rebuilt, much of the proceeds of the sales are going to Christchurch Women’s Refugee and to Te Tai Tamariki a Christchurch based Literacy Programme.

Resources/Findings:   In the back of the book is a glossary of words and their meanings to help children understand and talk about their fears.  Scholastics provide a great PDF file that can be used by teachers, carers, and parents, in helping to talk with, and getting young children to talk, in the aftermath of such an horrific time.

For more books with resources please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Picture Perfect Book.

About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
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24 Responses to Perfect Picture Book – Friday

  1. Catherine Johnson says:

    You did well to find such a relevant one. I feel so blessed that I got to go before it all started. Poor Chch.

    • Yes you were lucky! This was such a lovely book and so lovely of the author to think of it. It seems to be getting more popular now. Thanks for commenting Catherine.

  2. This is interesting. I have never seen a picture book talking about earthquakes. The cover illustration is VERY colorful! What a good cause to raise money for too. Thanks for telling us about it!

    • Hi Erik, The illustrations all through the book are very colourful and its a lovely sweet simple story of finding their owner. Scholastics also donates to the cause as well. Thanks Erik.

  3. Russ Cox says:

    Interesting concept for a book. I will have to look for it.

  4. Wow, Diane, this is relevant not just to quake prone areas but any geography lesson to do with natural disasters. I remember you reviewing it the first time, just after the last quake and am thrilled at it being reprinted.

    • Thanks Joanna, Yes it was after the September 2010 quake and then just as the book came out 5 months later Christchurch suffered its worst quake killing so many people, hence the book became very, very popular. I to, am glad its in circulation.

  5. Julie says:

    Sounds like a lovely treatment of an important topic. And I always love books that support good causes. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thankyou Julie. I don’t think Diana realised how important and much needed her book would become. In the front of the book there is a page where she explains how she wished she was a plumber, or electrician or animal welfare person, her desperation to help like so many, that the book was published quickly and became very popular.

  6. Diane, I’m glad you chose to review it again. I remember your sharing it before. It has so much meaning to kids all over the world who live in earthquake areas. The author does a beautiful job showing what is important. It definitely belongs on the PPB list. Great job!

    • Thankyou Pat! I am pleased you remembered it from before, it is a special book. Yes when I was researching it again I was wondering if they were going to get it translated into Japanese! Certainly kids all over the world would benefit from a book like this. Agree Diana has done a wonderful job. Thanks again Pat for your thoughts.

  7. Susanna says:

    What a great choice, Diane! I’m so glad to see the kind of books that are joining our list. This is a perfect example – I would not have known where to find a good book about earthquakes, but now I do! How great that it will be on our list, easily accessible to anyone who might need it! Thanks so much for sharing this one!

  8. I, too, recognized the title. This is such a good addition to PPBF.

  9. This book sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to read it.

  10. I like your description of how the cat deals with it. A different perspective on an important topic.

  11. Thankyou Stacy. So pleased you liked it.

  12. Hi Diane,
    So glad I joined the PPBF…I am learning about so many awesome books that I had never heard of before.
    Thank you for revisiting this one…I’m passionate about using the messages in picture books to help young children…this one certainly will. I agree that they should definitely do a Japanese edition…thousands of children would benefit.

  13. Barb says:

    What a cool idea for a book!

    • Isn’t it! We have to think of everything in everyday life, there is so many stories, in so many ways, to be told. Nice to see you here, do come back and say hi again.

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