Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats: 06/14/17
I read Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats by Alicia Potter solely for the title. I had just finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and had come away feeling disappointed by the last third. Potter's similar title but one involving cats just struck my fancy.
Miss Hazeltine runs a home for semi-feral and stray cats who are too shy to be adopted out to loving homes. She gives them the space to do their thing, to live their lives, learn how to cat in the presence of other cats, and to maybe, just maybe, come out of their shells.
For the most part, it's a lot of work for Miss Hazeltine with little in the way of reward save for knowing that the cats are safe in her home. This changes, though, when one night she goes out for milk and doesn't make it home. Collectively the cats go out to find her — thus demonstrating above and beyond all the things they have learned and accomplished under her quiet and loving care.
This picture book, while it exaggerates the abilities of the average cat — or even a group of cats — is built on the author's real world experience as a cat fosterer. There is a little bit of an explanation of her work with cats in the afterword.
While it wasn't the straight up parody of Miss Peregrine's that I had hoped, it is on its own, a delightful book about cats and fostering in a way that will connect with young children.