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|Author: Carol Malnor and Trina Hunner
Illustrator: Trina Hunner
Retail Price: Paperback • $8.95 | Hardback • $16.95
Whoosh . . . the wind blows open a creaky gate. Inquisitive and mischievous, a homeless little cat scampers through—and suddenly finds herself in the wondrous world of an organic farm!
Affectionately named “Molly” by the farmers who discover her, she romps, naps, and hunts among the vegetables. Seen through Molly’s eyes, the reader discovers the interplay of nature that grows wholesome food. But what will happen to Molly when winter comes? Based on a true story, Molly will touch children’s hearts while introducing them to plants and the key elements of growing food organically. Standards-based science concepts and activities at the end of the book expand the message of the story.
Educators: download free activities based on this book on our activities page.
- 2013 Bank Street College of Education – Best Children’s Books of the Year List
- 2012 Izaak Walton League of America Book of the Year Award (Elementary Level)
- 2012 Mom’s Choice Gold Award (Children’s Picture Book Category)
- 2012 NAPPA (Nat. Assn. of Parenting Publications) Honor Award
- 2012 IBPPG Next Generation Indie Book Award – Winner (Childrens/Juv. Non-Fiction)
- 2012 Purple Dragon Book Award – 2nd Place (Children’s Picture Book – Ages 6+)
- 2012 Skipping Stones Magazine – Honor Award
- 2012 Green Book Festival Award – Honorable Mention
- 2012 San Francisco Book Festival – Honorable Mention
“A small orange cat finds a new home on an organic farm, where she explores the farm world, helps with pest control and spends her winter warm and dry at the home of one of the farmers, in this book based on a true story.
The star of this appealing introduction to organic farming is a homeless cat that wandered into a northern California farm in 2005. She was adopted by the farmers and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) participants and was sheltered by the illustrator for several winters. Realistic watercolors provide a cat’s-eye view of the farm with its big brown farmer boots, its sheltering leaves and its interesting animal life. A simple text describing what she sees accompanies the full-page illustrations. A separate narrative, in rhymed couplets, is set on insets with close-ups of the green-eyed cat, sometimes zoomed in on a nose or tongue. The backmatter is frankly educational, providing further explanation of the major points: healthy soil and compost, beneficial bugs, companion planting, crop rotation, animal helpers, buying locally, community connections and, incidentally, city farms. There are additional descriptions of plant parts, life cycles and some further reading and teaching suggestions, as well as the story of the real-life Molly.
Pair this with Deborah Hodge and Brian Harris’ Up We Grow (2010) for two different visions of modern environmentally conscious farm life.”
— Kirkus Reviews (January 18, 2012)
As an orange-striped stray explores a community farm, inviting text introduces the gentle-on-nature methods organic farmers employ to nurture a healthy growing environment and manage pests and weeds. Children will be charmed by the cat’s-eye viewpoint, verdant watercolors, and staccato rhymes scattered throughout (“Catching whiffs./Molly sniffs”). Activity ideas and photos of the real-life Molly are appended.
— School Library Journal (August 1, 2013)
When a stray cat appears at a community farm, she is welcomed by the farmers and makes herself at home among the plants. Molly the cat’s presence steers the text’s discussion of organic farming, with back matter adding more details about topics such as crop rotation, companion planting, and compost. The child-friendly illustrations, including photos of the real-life Molly, complement the approachable story.
— Horn Book (Fall 2012)