Mrs. Jawaher- The lady who loves cats- is a story about families and relationships. Many families nowadays live miles apart because of work or study. Whereas it is easy for Grandparents to bond with their grandchildren when they live in the same place. It is another story completely when they live far away from each other. Thanks to modern technology they can stay connected but still it is not the same and they have to work hard to make a warm and genuine connection with their grandchildren.
Grandma Jawaher tries her hardest with Mansour but he is busy with his own games and toys and his father has to urge him to “talk’ to his Grandma.
Grandma Jawaher loves cats and they keep her company and amuse her. One particular cat gets attached to her and follows her home. She calls her Nousa and leaves her a milk bowl on the doorstep. One day Nousa disappears and Mrs. Jawaher is sad thinking that she had lost her, but Nousa surprises her by bringing her five kittens for safe keeping. The kittens bring Mansour and Grandma close together and he helps name them and look after them long distance. Now they have lots to talk about and discuss when they connect on the internet.
Here are some discussion points:
1- Discuss the different kinds of relationships kids have with their grandparents. Some grandparents live in the same house, others live in the same neighborhood or city while others live abroad. They all have one thing in common, they love their grandchildren and want to make a connection with them.
2- Grandparents are also different, many of them are active and still working and have many interests. Grandma Jawaher works as a freelance translator and loves cats. This helps change the prevailing stereotype of Grandmas in Arabic children literature where they are mostly portrayed as frail old women on a rocking chair telling stories.
3- Grandparents are people too and have needs and different feelings. Mrs. Jawaher is independent and still working but she lives alone. . Could she also be lonely and needs company? Is that why she sits in the park and feeds the cats? Discuss
4- Discuss what it means to be old. What can old people do and what can’t they do? What do they need?
5- Another discussion point can be on how technology has positive aspects and helps brings families together even though they live miles apart. Discuss how technology can also be negative how people sometimes visit each other or their grandmas and are busy with their phones or tablets instead of Connecting with each other.
6- Discuss pets vs. stray animals. Do animals know who is kind to them? Do they have feelings? Why did Nousa choose to take her kittens to stay with Mrs. Jawaher?
7- Discuss How children and grandparents can learn from each other. In the story Mansour helps his Grandmother find names for each kitten. Can children teach their Grandparents other things? Technology for instance. What can children learn from grandparents?
Written by: Taghreed Najjar, Illustrated by: Zeinab Faydee,
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Dimensions||14 x 20 cm|