The Meaning of Love
By Joanne Rocklin
Amulet Books, $16.95, 240 pages
The loss of a pet is a painful event for everyone and especially for children. Many times it is their first experience with death. It is extra difficult because when you live with an animal 24/7, their sudden absence is so hurting. So it is useful to read a book that can help children understand their feelings. The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook is a tale about two siblings, Oona and Fred, who cope with the illness and eventual death of their beloved cat Zook (short for Zucchini). Author Joanne Rocklin has written a beautiful, heart-warming, tender story that will move readers of any age. While Zook’s health declines, Oona and Fred’s mom meets a new boyfriend. Dealing with this on top of everything else is overwhelming for the kids. They find solace in spending time with Zook. Rocklin treats Zook’s illness and passing with dignity and grace. Yes, there will be tears, but a beautiful story often moves readers in profound ways. Kids will learn that it is better to have a loved animal and lose it than never have the chance to love in the first place.
Reviewed By Elizabeth Franklin