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Book Cover for: I Am Tama, Lucky Cat: A Japanese Legend, Wendy Henrichs

I Am Tama, Lucky Cat: A Japanese Legend

Wendy Henrichs

Under the shadow of the white-capped mountains of Japan, a kind and gentle monk takes in a white cat with unusual markings and names him Tama, Lucky Cat.

Tama watches as his new master teaches Buddha's ways to poor farmers, caring for their welfare while ignoring his own empty stomach. Tama truly earns his nickname, "Lucky Cat," when during a powerful thunderstorm, he sees a towering warlord on a white horse. The cat beckons the warrior forward just as a large branch crashes to the ground and lands right where the warlord had previously stood. In gratitude to Tama, the warlord lavishes gifts on the monk's poor temple.

In a marriage of graceful text based on one of the legends of Maneki Neko--"beckoning cat," in early Edo-period Japan--and breathtaking watercolor illustrations, debut author Wendy Henrichs and award-winning illustrator Yoshiko Jaeggi offer a beautiful story of friendship, generosity, and kindness.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
  • Publish Date: Feb 2nd, 2016
  • Pages: 32
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.80in - 8.10in - 0.20in - 0.30lb
  • EAN: 9781561459162
  • Recommended age: 05-09
  • Categories: People & Places - AsiaAnimals - CatsLegends, Myths, Fables - General

About the Author

Wendy Henrichs was inspired to write I Am Tama, Lucky Cat when she adopted two cats. One of them had a habit of raising her paw while sitting, just like a Japanese Lucky Cat figurine. Curiosity about the legends behind Lucky Cat led her to the story of Tama. She grew up in Illinois and lives in Iowa.

Yoshiko Jaeggi was born in Kagoshima, Japan, which is famous for its volcano. She drew her first picture in the ashes that rained from the sky. Yoshiko was trained at the Osaka Municipal Institute of Fine Art and has illustrated several picture books. She lives in Maryland.

Praise for this book

"The qualities of compassion and generosity that are gently demonstrated and the theme of virtue rewarded are undeniably laudable. . . Jaeggi's lovely watercolors reflect the serene tone and evoke the exotic setting, and her use of panels echoes traditional Japanese artwork."--Kirkus Reviews

"Jaeggi lavishes care on the watercolor illustrations, in which everyday features of Japanese life add historical and architectural interest"--Publishers Weekly

"Evocative watercolor illustrations capture ancient Japan in this picture-book retelling of the lucky-cat legend. . . With its compelling story and stunning art, this is a worthy addition."--School Library Journal