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Author: Holly Keller

Illustrator: Holly Keller

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Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books, 1991

Material: hard cover

Summary: Horace is a leopard who was adopted by tigers when he was a baby. He wants to be with cats that looks just like him, and he sets off to discover just such a family. In the end, Horace learns that being loved has nothing to do with looking like anyone else.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 7; read yourself: 6 to 8

Interest Level: 4 to 8

Age of Child: Read with child 2 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: We've tried this story about half a dozen times, and get no interest. Usually we're told "No Horace."

Adult Reader Reaction: The story simply illustrates the idea that love and family go far beyond looks. I was surprised at the statement to Horace that he "lost" his family when he was little.

Pros: The cute animal illustrations and the story's presentation allow the toddler to understand the idea of adoption without trying to say "is that me?"

Cons: Prepare a response to the question "how did Horace lose his family?" BEFORE you read the book. It's not a question you want to answer on the fly.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow it. We didn't have success this time, but believe the story has great potential and we'll borrow it again.


Educational Themes: This book is about being loved and adopted, and will be most helpful to children who feel different or awkward about not resembling their adoptive family.

Literary Categories: Fiction - adoption

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2003

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