Nanny-Mac's Cat


24 pages
ISBN 0-921556-54-3
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Marie Lafrance
Reviewed by Leigh Dodds

Leigh Dodds is an elementary-school teacher in North Bay, Ontario.


Glynnis visits Nanny-Mac and her cat Patches every Friday, but a fall
puts Nanny-Mac in the hospital, leaving Patches homeless. It is up to
Glynnis and her father to find a suitable home for the fearful cat. Just
when it appears that no one will adopt Patches, a kind farmer agrees to
take her in. Sensing Glynnis’s apprehension, he invites Glynnis to
visit the cat at his farmhouse. It is during this visit that she finds
the timid Patches in hiding. With encouragement, Patches emerges only to
encounter a huge barn cat; this experience, it turns out, helps Patches
overcome her fears.

Nanny-Mac’s Cat attempts to be sensitive and inspiring, but it fails
to endear the reader to either the human or animal characters. Part of
the problem resides in the illustrations, which are dark and severe.
Sometimes MacDonald’s word choice seems inappropriate; instead of
“Does Patches use a litter box?” we get “Does Patches pee in
corners?” After Patches is adopted, the story loses momentum,
principally because the motivation for Patches to overcome her fears is
anticlimactic, disappointing, and unconvincing. Not a first-choice


MacDonald, Anne Louise., “Nanny-Mac's Cat,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,