14:14 MRS. KATZ AND TUSH (Part 2)

Publisher: Doubleday
Year: 2009 (First edition 1993)
Word Count: 1395
Summary: A long-lasting friendship develops between Larnel, a young African-American, and Mrs. Katz, a lonely Jewish widow, when Larnel presents Mrs. Katz with a scrawny kitten without a tail.

This challenge is 14:14 PB Challenge by Christie Wild.

I am a voracious reader. I am greedy and I am always craving a good book to relieve me of my hunger. This book is decadent, delightful, delectable, and delicious. It is just plain divine.

The element that I will analyze is #4 DIALOGUE.

This book is written mostly in the dialogue format. It is engaging. Mrs. Katz, a Jewish widow lives in a building with an African-American family. Larnel, the African-American child, visits Mrs. Katz with his mother. When a cat had a litter of kitten, and all of them are placed except for one with no tail, he decided to give the cat to Mrs. Katz, who in turn made him promise to help her care for it. She names the cat TUSH because he has no tail and all she sees is its behind or “tush”.

Each time he visits, Mrs. Katz shares stories about her Jewish heritage, her deceased husband, and her story of immigration. She cooks for Larnel, teaches him to dance, and teaches him that his African-American history and Jewish history shares similarities.

What makes this unique is Larnel asked questions throughout the book. She answers all his questions making a lively conversation written in the form of dialogues.

I would not be able to share the conversation as I would not know where to begin. But let me say, this book is amazing. Patricia Polacco’s illustrations are captivating, real, and natural. The story has a flow that at times, it reads like a poem written in free verse.

I could have picked any of the ten elements and this book would have been appropriate. And I know you are looking at the word count. But you should know how I feel about word count from my previous post, “Stories can be told in 500-600 words. But great stories should be told in as many words needed to get the message across, and 1395-words did justice.”

I recommend this book for all grades. It is delightful as fresh baked bread from the oven dripping with honey butter. This is the kind of book, you should sprinkle honey on and eat it. Trust me, it will be worth it.




  1. Jackie, so much is visible, so much that can’t be related by pictures or simple ‘plot’ which makes DiALOGUE so critical to books that provide relational truths and human interactions. Thanks, will have to find this book and read it.

  2. You are so right! I love, love, love Patricia Polacco and all her works. Think about what joys we would miss if she limited herself to 700 words! And about your last paragraph…. did you know she learned to read after her grandfather poured a bit of honey on a book for her!

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