My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Title: I Am Tama, Lucky Cat
SubTitle: A Japanese Legend
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Imprint: A children’s picture book from Peachtree Publishers
Pub Date: 08/01/2011
Another picture book I read today. 😀
Are you familiar with this cat figurine?
I bet you are. I have one at home. One of its hand moves forward and backward alternately. People call it the lucky cat. I didn’t have any idea about the philosophy of this cat and why its hand moves that way. Why don’t they make dog figurine with the same hand movement?
It turns out there’s a legend behind this famous cat. This book tells us about the legend of Maneki Neko. Maneki means beckoning, Neko means cat. So, Maneki Neko is beckoning cat.
What’s the story about?
Many years ago, a cat went in search of food and shelter. Finally, she found an almost rundown temple and waited at its doorway with beckoning position. The monk, who lives in the temple, welcomed her happily. He gave her shelter and food and they kept each other company. Tama felt very lucky and she promised she will bring luck to the monk.
They lived in a poor life until one day Tama saved a warlord’s life from a falling cherry tree branch. The warlord was very thankful to Tama who had saved his life. Therefore, in thanksgiving, he repaired the temple and gave them plenty of food and made the temple as his family’s place of honor.
This is a picture book with lovely illustrations. The water-painting effect and soft colors give me a peaceful feeling. The author does not only write a story about a lucky cat, but she fills it with Japanese culture and Buddha’s teaching as well.
ARC is provided by Peachtree Publishers via Netgalley.
Note: My parents also believe that a three color cat brings luck. We have lots of them here. Have you seen a three color cat before?