Loaf the Cat Goes to the Powwow

by Nicholas Deshaw (Author) Tara Audibert (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A Native American boy's cat surprises him at his first powwow--making for a very special dance indeed!

Loaf the cat loves to play with her boy, and when she's particularly happy, she'll make the purr sound for him.

She also likes to keep tabs on him, so when he disappears one day, she decides to find him. She follows his smell to a place where there are drums and colors and lots of people--and then she's excited to see her boy dancing fast, making the ribbons on his regalia twirl beautifully! When he takes a break, Loaf goes to greet him in her special way, making the powwow one her boy will never forget, and worthy of many purrs!

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Kirkus Reviews

Both a purr-fect pet story and a vibrant celebration of cultural identity.

Publishers Weekly

Loaf, a feline protagonist, follows her Ojibwe-cued caretaker, Charlie, to a powwow in this simply told picture book. Fond of rubber bands, paper bags, and ribbon, Loaf takes note when "my boy started putting all these ribbons on his clothes." After the boy quickly hand-stitches the complex regalia, he tells the cat, "I'm going to be a grass dancer at the powwow." When Loaf awakens to an empty house and ventures outside, she follows Charlie's scent to a place filled with crowds and drums. In an animated picture book debut, Anishinaabe author DeShaw walks readers through the powwow's Grand Entry, told through the perspective of Loaf the cat. Though the feline is more observer than actor in this straightforward work, digital illustrations from Audibert (the Jo Jo Makoons series), of Wolastoqiyik and French heritage, aptly capture the energy of a cat at play and a boy taking part in the powwow--and the two displaying affection for each other. Ages 3-7. (May)

Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

The tale of a cat and her boy. . . . DeShaw (Bois Forte Ojibwe and Eagle Clan) uses repetition to captures a cat's uniquely self-possessed perspective; feline lovers will smile with recognition as Loaf assures them that sometimes her boy 'thinks it's time for sleep, but I know it is really time for play.' Audibert, who's of Wolastoqiyik and French heritage, directs readers' attention to dancers in the powwow scenes; in her heavily stylized, thick-lined illustrations, the performers stand out with pops of color and swirls of movement. Delicate floral Ojibwe details are incorporated throughout. Both a purr-fect pet story and a vibrant celebration of cultural identity. —Kirkus Reviews
Nicholas Deshaw
Nicholas DeShaw is a proud father, educator, and traditional lacrosse coach, and Loaf the Cat Goes to the Powwow is his debut picture book. He is Anishinaabe (Bois Forte Ojibwe), Migiziwan Odoodeman (he is Eagle clan). Nicholas studies and speaks the Ojibwe language. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Tara Audibert (moxyfox.ca) is a multidisciplinary artist working in film, animation, illustration, and fine art. Her previous books include the award-winning Jo Jo Makoons series (by Dawn Quigley), Fiddleheads for Fox (which she also wrote), and Moonbeam (by Gail Francis). Tara owns and runs Moxy Fox Studio, where she created the TV series Lil Glooscap and the Legends of Turtle Island, the award-winning short films I Am the Warrior and The Importance of Dreaming, and the comics This Place: 150 Years Retold and Lost Innocence. She is of Wolastoqiyik and French heritage and lives in Sunny Corner, New Brunswick, Canada.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication date
May 28, 2024
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV002050 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Cats
JUV011040 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Native American
Library of Congress categories

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