Reading Blog ~ The Cat Bride

The story, “The Cat Bride” is a children’s fantasy story that is set in Olympus, the sky-kingdom of the gods and goddesses in Greek mythology. The plot of this story begins with Zeus attempting to persuade Aphrodite that he has the ability to make anyone or anything do what he wants them to. Aphrodite disagrees and challenges Zeus’s abilities, they then change a cat into a man’s bride to determine who is correct. Despite what Zeus believed, the cat, now in a woman’s body, still possesses the habits and traits of a cat.  The author portrays Zeus as a strong-willed male figure that believes he is the most powerful and can control all beings. Aphrodite, on the other hand, is portrayed as a kind, calming, and understanding mother figure. The author uses descriptive words to better illustrate their characters. The author also uses descriptive writing to aid the reader in understanding the theme of the story which is that, regardless of superiority or power, the only person who can really change you on the inside and not just on the outside is yourself. The author states this in the story when Aphrodite states, “Just because you can change someone’s shape, doesn’t mean that you can change their heart. Only they can do that.” (The Cat Bride, n.d). The story is written from a narrator’s point of view where we are able to read from all of the character’s perspectives.

Reading The Cat Bride caused me to think about my experiences trying to “change” my family, and experiencing others trying to “change” me. The only way someone can truly change is when they decide to change themselves, whether that be their attitude, behaviors, opinions,  or habits. Attempting to change someone may appear to be successful on the surface but if you dig deeper, you will see that nothing has really changed. The “change” is only surface deep. I believe that this book is appropriate for children of any age because there is no sensitive matter involved and the theme of the story is an important concept for all ages to learn about, especially at a younger age.

 

References

The Cat Bride from Stories Podcast – A Free Children’s Story Podcast for Bedtime, Car Rides, and Kids of All Ages! (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2019, from https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/wondery/stories-podcast/e/57519101

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By: Dr.Seuss Book Review

 

Element Description Example(s)
 

Theme

 

 

The general theme of this book is that the reader has the ability to do anything they desire no matter what obstacles they may face. This is demonstrated repeatedly in the book. An example of this theme is the well-known quote, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose”
 

Setting

 

 

The setting of this book can change depending on who reads it. Based on the illustrations in the book, this book is set in Dr. Seuss’s world of bright colours and fantastical creatures. The time of this book is also primarily affected by the age of the reader but is also set to be the time of growth or graduation. An example of this is the first paragraph in the book, “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!”
 

Plot

 

 

The plot of the story follows the main character in the illustrations through many adventures, good and bad, boring and fun. An example of this is the quote, “On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak.”
 

Characterization

 

 

This Dr.Seuss book uses the reader as the primary character throughout the book. Dr.Seuss also uses an illustration that goes on the adventure. The illustration is also not specified as male or female which allows everyone to identify with the illustration. An example of this is, “Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.”
 

Style

 

 

The style that Dr.Seuss uses is rhyming and a very rhythmic/sing-song cadence. An example is “It’s opener there in the wide open air”
 

POV

 

 

The point of view of this story is of the narrator/writer/Dr.Seuss. An example of this is, “You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”
  1. What do you think makes a children’s book good?
  • I think a good children’s book is made with illustrations and shorter paragraphs to keep children’s attention. A good children’s book also includes good role models because young minds are quite moldable/malleable.

 

  1. In the slides, we talk about books creating a “safe zone”. What does this mean to you?
    • Books creating a “safe zone” means absolutely everything to me as someone who suffers from intrusive thoughts. Books grant me an escape from my mind where I can experience worlds with amazing adventure.
  1. What are some common misconceptions about children’s books?
    • Some misconceptions are that all children’s books need to be colourful and/or have a moral.
  1. What are some classic themes for stories?
    • Friendship, respect, kindness, acceptance, adventure, and family.
  1. Were you able to name some of the popular characters?
    • I was able to name almost all of the popular characters.
  1. Think of your favourite childhood book. What was the setting? Did it stand out to you for any reason (Magic School Bus)?
    • My all time favorite book was and still is Alice in Wonderland. The setting of Alice in Wonderland is in Victorian England as well as Wonderland. This book stood out to me because it normalizes being “different”.

 

Citation

S., Dr. (1990). Oh, the places you’ll go! US: Random House Children’s Books.

Summary of The Bee and Jupiter

The Bee and Jupiter
A BEE from Mount Hymettus, the queen of the hive, ascended to
Olympus to present Jupiter some honey fresh from her combs.
Jupiter, delighted with the offering of honey, promised to give
whatever she should ask. She therefore besought him, saying,
“Give me, I pray thee, a sting, that if any mortal shall approach
to take my honey, I may kill him.” Jupiter was much displeased,
for he loved the race of man, but could not refuse the request
because of his promise. He thus answered the Bee: “You shall
have your request, but it will be at the peril of your own life.
For if you use your sting, it shall remain in the wound you make,
and then you will die from the loss of it.”

Evil wishes, like chickens, come home to roost.

The fable, “The Bee and Jupiter” is about how no ill-intentioned wish comes without a consequence. This fable is filled with metaphorical messages to better get the moral of the fable across to younger audiences. The moral of this story is that all ill-intentioned wishes, or deeds have consequences.

The bee represents humanity’s need to be superior above all other races/species. This also represents our need to be superior within the human race with different skin colours, languages, cultures, religions, and more. When Jupiter praised the bee for her honey, the bee was filled with entitlement, the belief that she was superior to other races/species because an immortal being had approved of her honey.

When Jupiter promised the bee whatever she asked for, the bee felt that no mortal was worthy of her honey so she would not allow them to take her honey. The bee asked for a stinger so she may harm any mortal who may approach her honey. This request was a ill-intentioned wish because the bee was so filled with greed and entitlement that she was willing to harm others to protect her honey.

Jupiter honored his promise to give the bee whatever she desired. However, he made it so that when the bee used her stinger, the stinger would remain in the wound which would cause the death of the bee. Jupiter represents the concept of karma here by giving the bee a consequence for her ill-intentioned wish to harm others instead of share her gift of honey to the world.

This fable is similar to today’s children’s books in that it provides a simpler way of looking at more complex concepts. I would read this to a child aged four or five and up because age three to four is when children start building their moral compass around what they witness in their surroundings. I would be wary about the wording in this fable however. I do not believe that reading this fable to a three or four year old would be wise simply for the harsh, “old English” terms in the fable.

Citation

The Bee and Jupiter. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2019, from http://www.aesopfables.com/cgi/aesop1.cgi?1&TheBeeandJupiter