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Anne Frank and the Cat That Made a Difference in Her Life in New Picture Book With a History Lesson for Young Readers

Updated on March 25, 2019
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Engaging Story as Told by the Cat That Lived With Anne Frank

Gorgeous picture book with a history lesson for young readers.  Life with Anne Frank as seen through the eyes of her cat is an engaging read for young readers.
Gorgeous picture book with a history lesson for young readers. Life with Anne Frank as seen through the eyes of her cat is an engaging read for young readers. | Source

Anne Frank's Story as Seen Through the Eyes of Her Beloved Cat

Sources for history lessons that young readers can relate to are sometimes difficult to find. David Lee Miller and Steven Jay Rubin tell the story of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who lived during the Nazi invasion of Holland, in a beautiful picture book for young readers. The story is told through the eyes of a little black cat that came to live with Anne and her family. Jewish people are not supposed to have pets under the Nazi regime and Peter must smuggle the small black cat into the secret hiding place where Anne and her family live. He is successful in traveling through the streets filled with Nazi soldiers as he makes his way to the secret place under the attic stairs where Anne lives with her family. The secret hiding place is under a spice factory and the delicious smells coming from the factory are a delight. It is very important that the small cat stay silent as much as possible so that the Nazi Black Spider Soldiers do not discover the Frank family. There are creaky boards to avoid in the attic and lots of interesting things to play with, including chasing a mouse. The cat enjoys his days snuggling with Anne as she writes in her diary. Anne dreams of being a famous writer and spends her days recording her thoughts about the Nazi invasion and wondering when freedom will come. The little black cat is the only one in the family that can go out into the streets and it enjoys exploring the town as it climbs around the roofs of the buildings during the days. The ferocious dogs used by the Nazi troops are sometimes distracted by the cat when they spy him in the streets. Mouschi the cat was once responsible for helping to distract the dogs as over 600 Jewish children were rescued and gained their freedom when they were smuggled by a brave woman from the old Jewish Theater in Amsterdam.

The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank is told through the eyes of Mouschi the cat. Elizabeth Baddeley contributed her talents as an illustrator to this engaging story with breathtaking colorful illustrations of the city and the Nazi soldiers during their occupation of Amsterdam. Miller and Rubin include two pages of extra factual information about Anne Frank , other characters in the story, and places in Amsterdam that are famous in Amsterdam and were used by the Nazis during their occupation. They also include a page of sources for more reading about Anne Frank.

The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank was published by Philomel Books, a division of Penguin/Random House. It is recommended for ages 4-8 and has an ISBN of 978-1-5247-4150-1. This delightful picture book is a perfect addition to a classroom collection of history books for young readers.

Breathtaking Illustrations Tell the Story

Peter successfully smuggles the little cat into Anne and her family's hiding place
Peter successfully smuggles the little cat into Anne and her family's hiding place | Source
Anne bonds with Mouschi the cat
Anne bonds with Mouschi the cat | Source
Every day is a challenge to keep quiet in the tiny attic where Anne and her family live and hide
Every day is a challenge to keep quiet in the tiny attic where Anne and her family live and hide | Source
Anne stays busy writing in her diary about the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam and dreams of being a famous writer.
Anne stays busy writing in her diary about the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam and dreams of being a famous writer. | Source
Nazi occupation of Amsterdam
Nazi occupation of Amsterdam | Source
The Nazis' dogs are distracted by Mouschi the cat as the Jewish children are rescued by a heroine in Amsterdam.
The Nazis' dogs are distracted by Mouschi the cat as the Jewish children are rescued by a heroine in Amsterdam. | Source

Bring the History of Anne Frank into the Early Childhood Classroom

PIcture books are my favorite tools to use in an early childhood classroom to teach a variety of subjects for young children. The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank is a perfect choice for a history lesson to teach young children about an important subject. The subject of inclusion is an important lesson to learn at an early age. Discrimination of the Jewish people is unfortunately still at the forefront of our society now and young children have most likely heard conversations and news stories about things that involve the Jewish communities.

*Read The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank in a story time session. Have a globe available to show the location of Holland.

*Engage the children in a discussion of the reason that Anne and her family must hide from the Nazi soldiers.

*Call attention to the illustration of Anne writing in her diary. Engage the children in a discussion about the importance of a diary and keeping memories.

*Have writing paper, pens, markers, and pencils available for young children to practice writing and for them to create their own diary.

*Engage the children in a discussion of why the discrimination of the Jewish people in Amsterdam was wrong.

© 2019 Cindy Hewitt

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