Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Price Stern Sloan (December 31, 2001)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.1 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.6 ounces
Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #2,957,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #91 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Health > Weight #2423 in Books > Children's Books > Animals > Mammals #4324 in Books > Children's Books > Animals > Cats
Age Range: 5 - 9 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
I'm honestly surprised at the vitriol this book has relieved. Please keep in mind that this is a book written for young children. There is more to being healthy and confident than was presented in this book, but again, keep in mind the target audience.One issue is that the animals of the forest endlessly mock Catundra, no one is her friend since she is judged on her weight alone. This happens in real life all too often (as well as emotional eating to deal with depression and pain) and I would have liked for Catundra to have confronted her bullies by the end of the book and tell them how wrong/cruel they were for their bullying.Nonetheless, the book's message about exercising and eating right are spot-on, no matter what the haters of this book might whine about.
I was, and still am, fat. One of (insert well-meaning loved one's name here) 's periodic attempts to force me to change this was to hand me this book. As a damaged teen I was poorly equipped to articulate the wrong-headedness and uselessness of messages like the one in this book, but I've had time and distance.The main character is a fat animal who is stigmatized and bullied for her size by other animals (which causes her to eat more as her only way of feeling better--that's right, the kid's-book cat has an emotional binge eating disorder). The author's solution (like many people in the real world with the best of intentions) is to put the fat cat under the tutelage of a (mouse? mole? I can't remember) small animal who becomes her personal trainer, beguiling her to exercise and restrict her food intake, with promises of how much better her life will be (after she loses the weight, of course).The emPHAsis here is on the wrong sylLAble. To quote "Health At Every Size" author Linda Bacon (yeah, I know, hurr hurr, go read the book anyway), "Conventional ideas about weight take away the motivation for self-defense by removing the need for resistance:'Just change yourself and this won't be an issue anymore'." When you do this to anyone but a fat person, it's called invalidation and it damages people right into therapy.I'm not arguing against healthy habits. I AM arguing that healthy habits improve your life whether you shrink or not, and that's a message that would put genuine health within reach of a lot more kids. I respectfully suggest that parents looking for a book for their poor endangered fat children look for books that encourage healthy habits regardless of weight or size. With a hearty portion of self-acceptance of the bodies we have right now, because you won't take care of something you hate.
I remember this book from when I was a child. The sad illustrations and storyline would cause me to become teary-eyed. It was successful in getting the point across that it is very mean to tease fat kids. I always defended the chubby kids after reading this book. There is one picture in this book that became burned into my memory- of the cat eating a sandwitch with tears running down her face.I could cry just thinking about it!
This book is horrible. The cat was an emotional eater. Fine. But then he meets a mole who tells him "Rather than eating, you should go on a diet and get yourself in shape. If you're not fat, then nobody can make fun of you, and if they don't make fun of you, you won't be miserable and if you're not miserable you won't want to eat." The mole pushes the cat to work out and eat very little. It says "Once in a while Catundra would get that hungry look in her eye, but the little mole would wisely let her eat some fresh vegetables. Once in a while, he even let her catch a small minnow from the stream just to keep up her strength." Oooh, deprivation in the name of beauty. That's healthy.The worst part is, the cat wasn't doing it to feel better, or to be healthier. She was pushed into it by a mole and her whole motivation was to be thin and pretty so others would stop teasing her. At the end, after Catundra loses weight, it even says "Most importantly, the other creatures of the forest didn't call her names because she had slimmed down to the prettiest cat they had ever seen."Besides, if the book was realistic, the creatures would still make fun of her, but they'd just choose something else to tease her about. Uneven stripes perhaps?
Great book for preventing you kid from becoming unhealthy and overweight. I suppose if you're an over weight parent you won't like to admit to your child that your own life needs work.
When I was a little girl I was overweight and this was my favorite book. It doesn't teach that obesity is bad, if you think it does you didn't truly READ the book. If you want to look at it as teaching tolorance of being fat feel free. But you know as a kid I never saw that the mole was working Catundra so she'd lose weight and be liked. He was teaching her to like herself. Teaching her to realize the importance of Self-worth, the importance of liking herself regardless of what you look like. Catundra starts liking herself and realising that she is a good worth while person long before she even realizes that she lost weight, before she realizes that her physical apperance had changed. This book isn't about being Fat and the 'evils' of it it teaches about how much more important it is to LIKE yourself regardless of other people's oppinions.
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