HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Bravest Cat!: The True Story of Scarlett
Author: Laura Driscoll
Illustrator: Dyanne Disalvo-Ryan
Publisher: Paw Prints Reprint edition, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-1439549391 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1439549397 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0448417035 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0448417030 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Driscoll, Laura. The Bravest Cat!: The True Story of Scarlett (published in 1997 by Penguin Young Readers; republished in 2000 by Houghton Mifflin). This All Aboard Reading Easy Level book tells the heartwarming, true story of a stray mother cat named Scarlett who risked her life to rescue her five kittens one at a time from a fire in an old garage in 1996. Scarlett became the subject of news stories across the nation that year. She was badly burned by the time she had saved her kittens, but the New York firefighters who witnessed her heroic feat rushed the whole bunch to a veterinarian in time. The cats were eventually adopted into loving homes.
Written for very young readers, The Bravest Cat! pictures Scarlett not only as an international celebrity but also as a symbol of the power of maternal instinct. The attractive page layout has author Laura Driscoll’s simple text in large, pleasing type, realistic watercolor illustrations by Dyanne Disalvo-Ryan, and ample white space. The color photograph on the final page of the recuperated, though scarred, Scarlett with her new owner is a fitting and touching end for an endearing story. We checked this book out of the library for extra practice when our older son Mark was learning to read.