Review: The Good Luck Cat by Joy Harjo

Publication Date: April 1, 2000

Synopsis:
Woogie is a cat, and she has a bad habit of getting into trouble that leaves her with one less life than she started out with. But Woogie might just be the luckiest cat around.

Date Read: January 22, 2019

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Thoughts:
I had to read this as part of a project for my Native American Cultures class. It took about ten minutes to read the book and come up with the important points for the project, so I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this.

The pictures are really well-drawn, and I liked the art style. There are a lot of earthy tones and a mixture of line thickness, which adds a lot of dimension to the drawings. I don’t have any critiques about it because art isn’t my forte when it comes to critiques or even appreciation. I do think it would be appealing to the middle grade age group it was written for.

I felt like the story was a little too simplistic for its age group, but maybe that’s just me thinking that it’s more for children around the ages of 9-12. It was really easy to read and the story had a good flow to it. Reading about how Woogie lost each of her lives was entertaining, though my group mates and I felt a little bad about laughing at some of them. We had a couple pages of a mystery, but that was resolved nicely by the end of the book.

Of all the things about the plot, the only things I wish were done better were the explanations of why Woogie had such good luck and how it connected to Native American culture. As there was only one mention of a Native American cultural event, it felt like this book could have been written by a white person, rather than an actual Muscogee Indian. There were a lot of things that this book could have done for the explanation of Native American culture, but at the same time, I did like that the author gave us information like it was normal, like we were supposed to know things already.

Children’s literature like this isn’t my strong suit when it comes to critiques. I struggle a lot to write reviews for children’s literature because I skipped reading a lot of it when I was younger, jumping pretty quickly into lower YA and YA. Looking back at my childhood, I don’t think that this is necessarily something I would have enjoyed, just because it feels too simple for the level I was reading at and understanding when I was a child.

I think that it’s a good option for children around the age of 6-8, but any older and they’ll probably find this too simple or boring.

Character(s):
I loved Woogie a lot. One thing that my group mates and I kept going back to was how cute Woogie was and how much we loved seeing her on the page.

I don’t remember if there were any other characters that were explicitly named, but even if there were, I’m not about to go to the library to check. There was nothing very special about the rest of them as the book was mostly focused on Woogie.

Overall:
3 stars. It was okay as far as picture books go. I liked it decently enough, and I think it’s a good option for young kids.

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