Authors David Lee Miller and Steven Jay Rubin chose a loyal feline as the narrator for “The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank.” Mouschi relates the historic tale, giving it appeal to children who adore animal stories.
The end pages set in nighttime Holland detail a peaceful scene, rooftops with yellow light shining from windows, Mouschi leaping from one peak to another. The illustrator, Elizabeth Baddeley, then offers a sharp contrast on the opening spread, with pictures of “Voor Joden Verboden” signs and yellow stars on lapels.
Mouschi belongs to David, an acquaintance of Anne’s who becomes more than a friend. He brings the cat along when his family is forced into hiding with the Franks. Their upstairs abode, reached by a hidden staircase, is tiny, and illustrations detail the families’ space constrictions. Especially impressive is the cutout of a room, Anne lying on her bed upstairs writing, while Nazi soldiers inspect the first floor, the image driving home the fact that even a tiny noise could prove disastrous.
“The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank” takes a painful subject and presents it as gently as possible. The story includes excerpts from Anne’s journal and background information, finishing with the fact that a cat did live in the hiding place, and its name was Mouschi.
First through third grade.