Lost and Found Cat

Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey

Written by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes

Illustrated by Sue Cornelison

Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017

40 pages, Non-fiction

Lost and Found Cat is the true story of a cat who escaped from his loving family but found his way back to them with the help of some volunteers in 2015. Kunkush, the white cat, belonged to a family from Iraq. The family consisted of a mom, named Sura, and her four daughters and one son. The family was leaving Iraq because the country was too dangerous to live in. The family brought Kunkush with them to Greece because they could not bear to leave him behind. After the boat safely arrived in Greece, Kunkush escaped from his carrier and ran off, leaving behind his heartbroken family. One of the volunteers, Amy, noticed Kunkush in the town, and she was determined to find his owners. After utilizing social media to help find Kunkush’s family, Sura’s oldest daughter contacted Amy to confirm that Kunkush was her pet. After traveling to Norway, where the family now lived, Kunkush was reunited with his family!

This book provides a window, a mirror, and a door to different audiences. Lost and Found Cat is a window into the lives of refugees without being overly heavy for children. Because the whole family, besides the father who died before the story began, survived, this story shows the positives that can come from volunteers and kind people who help refugees. The fact that Kunkush is a cat also makes the story lighter; the idea of a child being separated from his or her family would be so much more tragic than Kunkush’s struggle. Even though the situation was very scary and heartbreaking, there was a positive, happy ending for Kunkush and his family. Lost and Found Cat also is a mirror for refugees or children of refugees, because they have a deeper understanding of the struggles that refugees face. This book also offers a door because a portion of the book’s proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders. While there is not any information about how to volunteer to help refugees or donate to the cause, there is some action involved with the publication of the book.

The illustrations were done by Sue Cornelison, and while there is not information in the book about the illustrations, they look like they were painted on paper. The colors are highly pigmented, which makes the illustrations seem more realistic. At the end of the book, there are photographs from Doug Kuntz, who was in Greece as a photojournalist, to supplement the illustrations. The photographs are of refugees that Doug photographed while he was in Greece, but there are also some photographs of Amy, Kunkush, and his family.

This book was written by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes, the photojournalist and the volunteer who rescued Kunkush. The two had a relationship with the family that made them qualified to tell the story. While it might have been more effective to have the family tell the story, because both parties collaborated, the whole story was covered. There is information about the refugee crisis and additional information about Kunkush, who unfortunately passed away in 2016 from a feline virus.


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