The Cat Flap is a book for all ages. Like life, there are infinite possible interpretations of the events in the stories and each is neither right nor wrong. Kristina Hutch Matthews has married her virtuosic talents in art and spiritual exploration in this quiet yet powerful treasure.”
~ Julie Franzese, Founder, The Happy Life Academy
My 6th grade students loved Kristina Hutch Matthews' presentation of her book, The Cat Flap! The students were thoroughly engaged in the presentation as Ms. Hutch Matthews explained and showed her drawings through the writing and revising processes. Students were able to see different perspectives and engaged in dialogue connecting to their own lives. This presentation is a 'must-see" for students of all ages!
~ Janet W. King, 6th grade teacher, Johanna Perrin Middle School, Fairport, NY
The Cat Flap provides the perfect foundation for creative writing activities for children of all ages. It will promote lively discussions with youngsters about tolerance and character.”
~ Tracy Majczak, first grade teacher, Dudley Elementary School, Fairport, NY
"This non linear, artistic work can be read without words; a book like none other that I have ever seen. Full of purpose in Yin and Yang lessons, Its creative approach gently meets the reader from where they are and allows each individual's interpretation to be true. This book actually has a life! It continues to grow with the reader as the reader grows. Refreshingly universal, the book relates to all no matter their age, sex, language or race."
~Kay Megorden-Staten, Certified Permaculture Designer; Owner of Pure Nourish Skin, Pet and Home Care Products and Eco1x1.
This book is just beautiful. To me, The Cat Flap is a book that is meant to be read and re-read. Poured over back and forth for children and adults alike. It tells the story of two cats, Harmony and Balance, who both venture out in to the night through a cat flap in a doorway from each of their homes. Each cat thoughtfully approaching, encountering and confronting the same situation with different points of view, different temperaments and different personalities. This book is a wonderful tool for opening up dialogue with children about varying perceptions and viewpoints of the same situation. When reflected on, you could dialogue about the male and female-like qualities that are seen in the two cats and how these qualities can be seen in all of us. It examples how harmony and balance is perhaps more likely when the two sides meet. This book encouraged great conversation between my children. In addition to the beautiful story, you could spend hours looking over the detail and message in the drawings. One of my favorite details is the tufted fur sun and moon on each cats' brow.
A wonderfully thoughtful story in every way.
~Julia Ciaramitaro, yoga instructor
I would recommend this book for children of all ages, but the specific group I saw it read to were 7-9 years old.
Throughout the reading, the students were engaged and talking about what the story meant, what was happening, and details in the book that I myself did not notice! This book makes children take a deep look at the different viewpoint of the cats and teaches empathy: what are the cats feeling? Are they feeling the same thing? How are they reacting? How would you feel in that situation?
Even the simple task of coming up with names for the cats taught students about colors, opposites and empathy.
In addition, there are so many follow up lessons that can be done about animals, overcoming personal fears, physics and more. Great!
~Rachel Ingutti, humane education coordinator, Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester
The Cat Flap, a wordless book, is amazingly illustrated by Kristina Hutch Matthews and woven with her quiet, meditative, spiritual essence. This treasure opens many doors into ourselves discovering that which makes us tick. Exploring our masculine and feminine qualities guides us to shift our
thinking and perspectives to view life and ourselves in different ways. By telling the story visually, there is an energy that allows you to uncover
many interpretations for ongoing explorations into the unknown. Explorers of all ages would enjoy this treasure chest of Truth. I am
continually amazed every time I sit with the cats and allow their story to unfold at that moment.
~Jan McKie - owner of The Quiet Place, getaway cottages in the Finger Lakes region, New York