Bruce Finds a Home by Kathryn van Beek
Bruce the cat's tale very nearly didn't start at all. A few years ago, Kathryn van Beek found a bedraggled one-day old kitten alone on the footpath in Auckland. After checking the kitten, with umbilical cord still attached, didn't belong to any of the neighbours, author Kathryn took him home, and got a crash course in kitten parenting. She fed him around the clock and named him after that other famous orphan, Bruce Wayne.
Van Beek started a Facebook page about Bruce, and it went viral. With fans across the world, little Bruce has 37-thousand followers and now, his very own book. Van Beek turned to Kickstarter to help fund the project, with backers from New Lynn to New York keen to see Bruce's story in print.
In the story, six-year-old Katie knocks on every door in the street and speaks to all her neighbours, but no one can give the kitten a home. What will she do?
Set in Bruce's new neighbourhood of Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Van Beek also asked for editorial advice from the new entrants at the local school. As such, it is definitely a book that will appeal to even the youngest of readers. It's simple rhyme and wonderful use of punctuation makes it a fun and entertaining book to read aloud. The richly-coloured hand drawn illustrations reflect the vibrant landscapes of the quirky seaside town. While seemingly simple, there's lots to take in, with animals and cultural references throughout. Each of the neighbours has a clever, unique personality, that will keep the adults reading entertained as well.
Based on the true story of how internet sensation Bruce was saved by kindness, this is a wonderful addition to any child's bookshelf.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser
Mary Egan Publishing, RRP $20