A black cat’s good luck helps his team win the World Series in this debut children’s book.
It’s 1925. The Pittsburgh Pirates have won their first pennant in 16 years and are about to face the Washington Senators in the World Series. Tom, a Pirates fan and black cat from Butler, Pennsylvania, attempts to listen to the games at the local radio shop, but his fellow Pittsburgh fans bar his entry—after all, black cats are bad luck. “He’s a jinx,” they say. “The Pirates will lose if he comes in here. Don’t let him in.” The irony is that Tom is actually an authentic good luck cat—he has a card and everything—but his certification expired the day before, and the office won’t be open again until Monday. Tom, forced to follow the first four games by reading the newspaper, is dismayed as the Pirates lose three of them, falling far behind in the series. To keep his beloved team from losing the series, Tom will have to get himself recertified as a good luck cat and also convince his fellow Pittsburgh fans that he can help turn the Pirates’ luck around. The story is based on a short article in the Pittsburgh Press that was published prior to Game 7 of the 1925 World Series, which Aurandt spins into a slightly more complex and agreeably goofy tall tale. The frequent inclusion of photographs of real newspaper headlines from the time period lends a sense of verisimilitude to this otherwise cartoonish story, which involves a talking cat and a Department of Good Luck Certification. Aurandt’s straightforward, warm prose maintains a pleasant tone throughout, keeping the book light and fun even at its moments of tension. At only 41 large print pages, the work should appeal to younger readers who are just beginning to move past picture books—particularly those with a budding interest in baseball or Pittsburgh sports history.
A cute, simple tale about a feline who loves the Pittsburgh Pirates.