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Pilgrim Cat Illustrated by Doris Ettlinger

When young Pilgrim Faith Barrett discovers a stray cat on the Mayflower, she names her new friend Pounce. Together they face the long, cramped voyage and the perils of the first winter in the new colony. But in the summer Pounce vanishes. When Faith finds her cat, the reason for Pounce's disappearance becomes clear. At the harvest celebration that fall, there is much for Faith to be thankful for!

Read the story behind Pilgrim Cat
Read a review, written by a cat

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"...the child's perspective, the inclusion of a cuddly warm cat and the well-researched illustrations will bring readers back again and again. Watercolor illustrations are delicate and accurately rendered, complementing this gentle but interesting Thanksgiving tale."
   —Kirkus Reviews

"With a mighty leap, a cat chases a mouse onto the deck of the departing Mayflower. Faith, who is sailing from England to the New World with her family, sees the feline and is captivated by it....The girl's relationship with Pounce provides familiar thread throughout the story of the first Thanksgiving. Although Faith had been taught to fear 'the Natives,' her prejudices are soon dispelled. The Wampanoag are depicted as respected teachers and friends who welcome the newcomers. . ..Interesting details and a touch of old-fashioned language convey just the right amount of information to introduce readers to this part of history. An excellent choice for units on the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving and for holiday picture-book collections."
   —School Library Journal

"This charming story of a feline stowaway aboard the Mayflower provides an approachable introduction to the Colonial period...Details in both text and art are grounded in historical fact, including the Pilgrims' desire to worship as they please; the cramped, wet conditions aboard the ship; and the Pilgrims' initially amicable relations with Native Americans. Softly colored, realistic illustrations portray Pounce's adventures from a variety of perspectives, on board the ship and ashore in the New World, until he mysteriously disappears. Alert readers may guess the reason: 'he' turns out to be a 'she,' and delivers a litter of kittens, which serves nicely as a symbol of the birth of the new nation. An introductory author's note discusses what is fact and what is fiction."

"When the Pilgrims sail to the New World, a tabby cat makes the trip, too, providing friendship for a girl named Faith as well as the first litter of kittens born in Plymouth Colony. The a sweet and gentle counterpoint to the usually Pilgrim fare."
   —The Horn Book

"Inspired by a visit to Plimoth Plantation, Mass., Peacock has penned a gentle, original tale of the First Thanksgiving, from the perspective of a young girl and the cat she adopted on the Mayflower. The characters are imaginary but Peacock cites research confirming that the Pilgrims included 11 girls from babies to teenagers. . . Pounce the cat steals the limelight in Ettlinger's warm-hearted illustrations."
   —Washington Post Book World

"The progressive plot of Faith's journey and early settlement at Plymouth is skillfully woven with simple historical details."
   —Library Media Connection

"Before setting sail on the Mayflower, Faith Barrett notices a cat jumping onto the ship's deck. She adopts it during the voyage and names it Pounce...Faith and Pounce will draw the reader into this fictionalized account of the first year at Plymouth Colony. Peacock provides a reason for the Pilgrim's voyage, the difficulties they faced on shipboard and the challenges of the first year. This picture book is ideal for the Thanksgiving/Pilgrim/Colonial Life curriculum units."
   —Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

"...The author tells us not only the story of the Pilgrims and their adventures, their trials and their successes. She also shares with us a very simple and loving story about the relationship between at child and her pet cat. By doing so, she makes the Pilgrim story seem more real and more tangible for loving a pet is something many of us can identify with...We are constantly delighted and surprised as we turn the pages, finding new treasures to enjoy each time.
   —Through the Looking Glass Book Review

Albert Whitman & Co., Hardcover, September 2004, ISBN: 978-0807565322

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