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The Cat Man of Aleppo

By: Irene Latham

Karim Shamsi-Basha

Illustrator: Yuko Shimizu

Aleppo’s city center no longer echoes with the rich, exciting sounds of copper-pot pounding and traditional sword sharpening. His neighborhood is empty—except for the many cats left behind.

Alaa loves Aleppo, but when war comes his neighbors flee to safety, leaving their many pets behind. Alaa decides to stay—he can make a difference by driving an ambulance, carrying the sick and wounded to safety. One day he hears hungry cats calling out to him on his way home. They are lonely and scared, just like him. He feeds and pets them to let them know they are loved. The next day more cats come, and then even more! There are too many for Alaa to take care of on his own. Alaa has a big heart, but he will need help from others if he wants to keep all of his new friends safe.

“A Note from Alaa.” Authors’ notes. Illustrator’s note. Art references. Full-color illustrations drawn with black ink, then scanned in and colored with Adobe Photoshop.

ISBN: 9781984813787

JLG Release: Aug 2020


Sensitive Areas: Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War
Topics: Animal rescue , Cats , Aleppo, Syria , History of Syrian Civil War, 2011 , Animal sanctuaries

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Multicultural Elementary

Grades 2-6

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$210.60/year

Awards & Honors

2021 Randolph Caldecott Medal Honor Book

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, Booklist*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

The power of one person’s kindness and commitment to others is a potent message. Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel’s life is “a story about cats and war and people. But most of all, it is a story about love.” In this book based on an actual person and real events, Latham tells the tale of an ambulance driver who chose to stay in his hometown of Aleppo The power of one person’s kindness and commitment to others is a potent message. Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel’s life is “a story about cats and war and people. But most of all, it is a story about love.” In this book based on an actual person and real events, Latham tells the tale of an ambulance driver who chose to stay in his hometown of Aleppo, Syria, even after war broke out. He begins to come across hungry, lonely cats as he drives his ambulance. With what little money he has, he buys scraps of meat to feed the animals; he extends his efforts to other animals and children as well. With international support, Mohammad creates a sanctuary from war’s devastation for animals and children. The straightforward telling is accompanied by graphically strong illustrations. The art depicts war-torn streets, bombed buildings, and great sadness but also playful cats and smiling children who have been helped by Mohammad. Notes from both authors and the illustrator provide a glimpse into the book’s inspiration and the research that went into the art. A useful addition to school and public libraries to inform and to spark discussion about war, individual potential, and kindness to animals.

Horn Book

This gentle book emphasizes that in the midst of chaos, caring for the forgotten and discarded, no matter how small, affirms the preciousness of all life. This gentle book emphasizes that in the midst of chaos, caring for the forgotten and discarded, no matter how small, affirms the preciousness of all life.

Book Details

ISBN

9781984813787

First Release

August 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

E

Trim Size

10 2/3" x 9"

Page Count

40

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.6; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

G.P. Putnam's Sons

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War

Topics

Animal rescue, Cats, Aleppo, Syria, History of Syrian Civil War, 2011, Animal sanctuaries,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Book Genres

Picture Book

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