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Mister Got To Go, Where Are You?
Red Deer Press/Fitzhenry & Whiteside
age 5-8
By Lois Simmie, Illustrated by: Cynthia Nugent
32 pages

Synopsis from Fitzhenry & Whiteside:

Got to Go has made his home at the Sylvia Hotel for seven years now. And it is the best home a cat could wish for! There was always a comfy lobby chair or a warm windowsill to sleep on and a nice bit of fish from the kitchen. Mister Fisher, the manager, still talks about how the hotel is no place for a cat but Got to Go doesn’t worry. Then he sees a man carrying a tantalizing parcel that smells like a nice bit of fish and follows him along the streets for hours until the hotel is nowhere in sight. And nothing is going right at the hotel with Got to Go missing from his usual windowsill. The staff all come to realize, “a hotel without Got to Go is not a proper hotel.” Will Got to Go be able to find his way back to his hotel home and family?

In our neighbourhood there are a number of small businesses that have store cats. They greet us when we visit or pass by a store window, just like Mister Got To Go in the book Mister Got To Go, Where Are You? Pets become a familiar face just like store staff or in this story’s case, hotel staff. Sometimes people don’t realize just how much of an impact these business pets mean to staff and customers until they’re gone. That’s the story behind Mister Got To Go, Where Are You?

Lois Simmie does a great job putting us in the position of the hotel staff as well as Mister Got To Go as they deal with their new situation. I think Mister Got To Go’s city journey reminded my own kids why we pay attention and not let our cats outside. As expected, everything does get resolved in the end and it’s business as usual. After reading this story I think we have a whole new appreciation for our neighbourhood shop cats too.

Kids will love retracing Mister Got To Go’s journey on the illustrated maps found on both the inside front and back covers.

You can find a copy of Mister Got To Go, Where Are You? at your local bookstore or at Groundwood Books. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations.

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