When Olivia Kathy rushes to share this truth, telling Abby that “happiness isn’t a place that you find,” but rather “a thing you create with your mind,” the curmudgeonly cat is on her way out the door to find a place where she can “get what [she wants] right away.” But soon Abby finds her journey abruptly cut short and begrudgingly realizes Olivia Kathy is right, electing to stay home and choose gratitude. Kids will find Abby’s issues both humorous and relevant, as they’ve likely felt bored with their own toys and food or argued with a sibling at some point as well. Learning to look inward to find joy and peace and appreciate what one already has is a valuable lesson at any age, especially in an era of instant gratification and excess, and Abby the Crabby Tabby communicates it with engaging clarity.
Heather Bousquet’s detailed, expressive illustrations bring Abby’s journey from cantankerous to thankful delightfully to life. Abby is frequently shown scowling and rolling her big blue eyes while Olivia Kathy smiles, helping kids visualize the difference between choosing to see the water bowl as half full versus half empty. Ultimately a grinning and content-looking Abby is shown enjoying the same food and bed she used to deride, making a clear and important case for the power of gratitude.
Takeaway: The power of gratitude shines through this engaging story of a spoiled tabby.
Great for fans of: Karma Wilson’s Bear Says Thanks, Matt de la Peña’s Last Stop on Market Street.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A