Temple Cat is a simple picture book, perfect for younger ages or for beginning-level analysis. It is short and the illustrations are rich.
Authorship: Some kids may be familiar with a chapter book by the author, Frindle, which is one of the books discussed in Deconstructing Penguins. I try to point out other books by the author or share a bit about his or her life if possible.
The protagonist in this story isn’t a typical protagonist. When animals are the main character in a story, the character who needs or wants something, they are usually given human traits. They talk. They think. They have human emotions or needs or desires. When we are discussing the conflict, I remind kids that “man” (as in “man vs. society”) means hu-man, as in a character with human traits. It can be an animal or a boy or a woman or even a thing that has been personified, such as a toy. In Temple Cat, however, the cat is most definitely a normal cat and not a human (or a god)—but that is the point of the story!
Crime Scene [Setting]
Temple—formal, regal, shiny, glamorous, magnificent, somber, boring
Fisherman’s Hut—enjoyable, delicious, plain, tiny, humble, comfortable
Whole life—from the time he was a tiny kitten
3-4 days of traveling
Cat—Egyptians think he is a god, he acts like a cat, does not talk but thinks and feels and wants
Servants, priests, Egyptians—worship and spoil cat
Fisherman and children—love cat