Mrs. Katz and Tush

by Patricia Polacco

Paperback, 1993



Call number




Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishi (1993)


A long-lasting friendship develops between Larnel, a young African-American, and Mrs. Katz, a lonely, Jewish widow, when Larnel presents Mrs. Katz with a scrawny kitten without a tail.

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Dragged along on a condolence call to his widowed upstairs neighbor, Mrs. Katz, young Larnel is struck by the older woman's loneliness, and offers her the runt of a litter of kittens. Mrs. Katz accepts, on the condition that he help with the care of little Tush. And so begins a long-lasting
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friendship between the young African-American boy and the Jewish widow - a friendship that will effect the course of both of their lives...

A tale of friendship across religious, racial, cultural, and age lines, Mrs. Katz and Tush is Patricia Polacco at her best! Every character is well drawn - in both prose and picture - feeling natural and true to life. Tush herself is as adorable a literary cat as any I've met. The reality of difference, and our ability to transcend it through love, is explored in an immensely moving way, as are the similarities between the Jewish and African-American experience. I confess that I have to blink away tears, every time I read the conclusion. Highly, highly recommended!
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LibraryThing member lekenned
Such a good story to teach children about friendships and acceptance. Mrs. Katz and a little boy named Lance develope a friendship over an abandoned cat. While the two seem very different they turn out having more in common than you think.
LibraryThing member smendel18
This story shows the friendship between two unlikely people. Mrs. Katz befriends a young African American boy, and she shares her story with him. Along the way they learn about each other and come to find that they are more alike than they thought. It examines the longlasting friendship that these
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two formed. This would be great for a read aloud in younger grades, or a more in depth assignment for upper grades.
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LibraryThing member conuly
I want to like this one. It has all the things in it I usually like - unforced diversity, holidays, cats, intergenerational relationships, sweetness... but for some reason I just can never get into it. I don't understand why.
LibraryThing member rebecca401
Mrs. Katz is a Polish Jew and she has a lot in common with her young friend Larnel. Their families, for many generations, had suffered slavery and hardship. The two of them bond together over a little runt-cat with no tail, Tush. Together they celebrate Passover together, the great celebration of
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death passing over and life coming to stay!
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LibraryThing member kloupe1
In this book, a lonely kitten brings these two unusual characters together, a young African- American boy, Larnel, and a widowed Jewish woman, Mrs. Katz. While taking care of the cat together, Larnel got to learn of Mrs. Katz background and culture and found many similarities in his culture to
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hers. They had a great time together, learning from each other and in the end became the best of friends and family. The book that can be used with younger children to show how to be different can mean to be alike or with older children to show the Jewish culture and history of Mrs. Katz. This was such a sweet book.
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LibraryThing member kzrobin
This was a nice book about friendship and culture. It was great to see Mrs. Katz explain to Larnel how their ancestry is alike. I love when a book can demonstrate history from personal experiences.
LibraryThing member klsulliv
This is another wonderful book by Patricia Polacco. I love the moral lessons and the family essence that comes from this book. There are so many messages that readers can get out of reading this book. One in particular that I found interesting was the teaching of the Jewish culture. The book
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informs its readers that Jew were also slaves not just African Americans. I also like the fact that the main character, Mrs. Katz, befriends a boy that is African American, and is teaching him about her past (and her family's past) life. The readers also become aware of the Jewish traditions like passover, what food they eat, and tome stone rituals. Religion and Geography are also touch upon in this text as well. I really appreciate the fact that multiple lessons are taught from just one story. This story not only helps children understand how diverse other people are, but it also helps them connect and understand that many lesson can come from just one single lesson. This story has an emotional feel to it for the readers as well. It is sweet because the readers also become familiar with and recognize the bond between Mrs. Katz and Larnel. Traditions are one of the major concepts touched upon on this, but another major concept is friendship. Friendship is essential because sometimes all a person needs is someone to talk to. This text also helps children see the importance of accepting everyone no matter how different they are because nine times out of ten, you can learn something from them, and they can learn something from you.
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LibraryThing member PaigeCostella
Larnel and Mrs. Katz have a great relationship that starts off with a kitten. They take care of the kitten together and learn so much about one another while doing so. They realize they have things in common with one another and become best friends. This is a great book to read when teaching that
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no matter what age, culture, or sex someone may be they can still be your friend. It is also good to read as a lesson on respecting your elders.
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LibraryThing member jrlandry1410
A heartwarming tale about an old Jewish woman who is befriended by a runty kitten and a young African American boy after her husband passes. They bond through taking care of the kitten and learn much of each other's ways, eventually forming an unlikely friendship that lasts even after Mrs. Katz
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passes on. A really great book about Jewish culture, friendship, and being there for someone who is lonely.
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LibraryThing member alyssabuzbee
A young African American boy befriends his elderly Jewish neighbor, who has just lost her husband. Together, they begin caring for a cat, and that helps them to foster a strong bond. This is a great book for teaching diversity and Jewish traditions.
LibraryThing member feboudre
A little boy joins Mrs. Katz during passover and develop a good friendship over a cat. Teachers children about passover, a Jewish tradition.

Age(s): 7-10
LibraryThing member Jill.Barrington
An elderly woman and a young boy share a special relationship that begins with a kitten.

The book would be a great tool in a lesson about what can be learned from elders.
LibraryThing member raizel
A Jewish widow becomes friends with a black boy as they raise a cat together and she introduces him to Jewish traditions. She makes a delicious kugel and prepares a seder for him. She also says Kaddish by herself at her husband's grave. And she keeps saying "such a person", where I assume "person"
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means mensch---so why not say mensch and let the context define it?
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LibraryThing member ashleylegan
This book is very sweet—it is about a little boy who asks his new neighbor, Mrs. Tush, to adopt an abandoned kitten. She says she will under one condition: he has to help her take care of it. He agrees, so they meet every day. While they are playing with and taking care of the kitten, Mrs. Tush
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tells the little boy all about her Portand heritage and all about Jewish heritage and its strong relationship to Black History. They form a very close bond. This book promotes a wonderful understanding of Jewish and Black history, their differences and similarities. It shows that everyone can get along—old, young, Black, White, Jewish, Christian. It is a beautiful book.
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LibraryThing member laurenwhite92
I like the cultural aspect that is wrapped around a wonderful story line featuring a touching friendship between an old woman and a little boy.
LibraryThing member ArielDean
Mrs. Katz is a lonely, Polish widow. Larnel is the black kid who lives next door. Tush is the runt kitten with no tail who is adopted and connects the two. Larnel helps Mrs. Katz take care of Tush but he realizes he likes spending time with her. They both come from rejected groups: Germans and
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blacks. Their friendship continues for many years. She even meets Larnel's daughter. She dies but is still remembered.
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LibraryThing member MaryEttaJ
This was a book about friendship between a young boy and a older lady. They both helped each other out and taught each other some history about their culture.
LibraryThing member AleciaDesselle
Mrs. Katz and Tush is a story about a friendship built between a young boy and elderly woman that lasts a lifetime. Larnel sees a woman in need of companionship and intinctly helps. In return Mrs. Katz teaches her young friend about another culture.
LibraryThing member Craigrugby
This story is about a young African-American boy, Larnel, and old woman, Mrs. Katz, who was born in Poland and came to the United States when she was a young woman. They form a friendship over a stray kitten. Throughout their relationship Mrs. Katz teaches Larnel about diversity, Judaism, family,
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responsibility, and hardships people from different races have experienced. She also teaches Larnel about traditions that different cultures have.

This book would be very helpful in teaching about community, family, traditions, and diversity. The illustrations are well done and portray different things from the Jewish culture that could be used to spark discussions with students.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
This is a story of an elderly Jewish woman who grieves the loss of her husband. Caring neighbors visit her. When a child gives her a cat without a tail, thus the name Tush, a loving friendship develops.

As the young boy listens to her stories and realizes that as a Jew she was unaccepted in places,
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and, as an African American, he knows that his family experiences bigotry as well.

This is a wonderful story of friendship that transcends age and cultural differences.
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LibraryThing member marabie
Larnel, a little boy, befriends his older neighbor. Larnel brings Mrs. Katz her own cat to keep her company when he is not there. The cat is named Tush because he is missing his tail. There three of them become close and have a happy relationship. One day the cat is lost, eventually the family
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finds him. I would use this book in my class to help students foreshadow events. I would ask them before reading, why they think the cat is named Tush. I would also ask the students if they will find the cat when they lose him. This will get students to think and pay attention to details.
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LibraryThing member pamelapaige
boy gets to know neighbor by helping her take care of a cat he found. Neihbor tells boy about coming to America from Poland.
LibraryThing member jwesley
Patricia Polacco's magnificent illustrations and captivating dialogue exemplifies a heartwarming friendship between a woman and little boy in Mrs. Katz and Tush. Mrs. Katz is a lonely widow. As a gift, Larnel gives her a kitten after he agrees to help her take care of the kitten, which Mrs. Katz
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names Tush. He spends every day with with Mrs. Katz and Tush, growing fond of Mrs. Katz stories about the old country and the times she spent with her late husband. Mrs, Katz and Tush is a great book to introduce students to diversity and cultural differences.
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LibraryThing member imtanner2
Great story about two people who are very different but become friends.


Nebraska Golden Sower Award (Nominee — 1995)
Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Picture Book — 1995)
Sydney Taylor Book Award (Mass Import -- Pending Differentiation)
Jane Addams Children's Book Award (Honor Book — 1993)


Original publication date



0440900654 / 9780440900658
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