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“The more we expose our children to books that promote respect for diversity, compassion, courage, and resiliency, the more we'll see children who thrive in this incredibly complex, diverse world. Oh, how I would love to get this true tale about Henry the three-legged cat into the hands of all children! At its core, it's about so much more than a cat. I'm not a 'cat' person, so I normally don't seek out cat stories. Henry's owners, Cathy and Donna, weren't cat people either, and they certainly didn't seek him out. But sometimes we don't always get to decide what happens to us in life. What we do get to decide is how we respond. When Henry shows up with a front leg beyond repair, Cathy and Donna respond in a way that changes their lives as well as the lives of many others. . . .”

— Ann, Founder of Chinaberry

Jack Canfield, Co-creator, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul
On What’s the Matter with Henry? The True Tale of a Three-Legged Cat: “This is a sweet story with an important message for everyone who reads it. It is definitely Chicken Soup for my soul.”

Darlene Johnson, Principal, Holmes Elementary School, Mesa, AZ:
“I really enjoyed the book. I asked my new counselor to read it, and she said she loved the book. Here is what she wrote to me: ‘Yes, a class setting would be perfect. They would read it together, out loud and discuss. The homework for humans is wonderful. It could be used in Grade 5 to recognize bias and respect diversity, and in grade 6—resolving conflicts, and setting and achieving goals.’”

Gretchen McAllister, Director, Martin-Springer Institute, Flagstaff, AZ:
“Your book supports several of our initiatives related to diversity, moral courage, and altruism. We will be using your book in a large diversity project with K-12 schools in Flagstaff in 2009.”

Richard Fabes, Ph.D. Founding Director, School of Social and Family Dynamics,
Family and Human Dynamics Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ:
“The story of the 3-legged cat is touching, and it is not only a psychologically meaningful story but also a beautiful book. It is written a bit above the level of a preschooler, but the themes it conveys are important for children of all ages—acceptance, caring, stereotypes, predispositions, and the difficulties and strengths that reflect being different. These are issues that are vital to how we get along with one another.”

Harold M. Koenig, MD, Vice Admiral, Medical Corps, United States Navy, Retired:
“What’s a pediatrician who became Surgeon-General for the Navy doing supporting stories of an injured cat and a confused dog? I have been working for several years to help physicians across the country become more aware and develop better skills to help our folks returning from combat. I want to introduce you to The Just Me Project as one innovative way to help.” [Read more…]

Dawn Halfaker, Iraq war veteran:
In October 2007, veteran Dawn Halfaker, whose arm was blown off by an IED in Iraq wrote: “This book is adorable and inspiring to anyone and I can definitely see how it would be an incredibly effective therapy tool for children coping with injury or limb loss themselves or by a loved one. I think the most powerful part of the story is that Henry is still loved and accepted despite the fact that he is different, and also that he is so capable of doing everything he wants to do. People, and especially children, relate to animals naturally and this feline boasts a remarkably inspiring story. I think it is great that you are advocating that it be used by the military as a therapy tool.”

Graham Emslie, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Charles E and Sarah M Seay Chair of Child Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas:
“I enjoyed reading What’s the Matter with Henry? It is an attractive book with a compelling story, and delivers a wonderful message at an appropriate level for children. The workbook is an excellent tool for stimulating discussion. It is particularly good in that it encourages active coping.”

Dr. Sunita Stewart, faculty member, child psychologist and cognitive behavioral therapist for children:
“I liked this book. The story acknowledges that loss is painful and puzzling. But communicates the message that loss does not take everything you had away from you and does not alter who you are. The workbook exercises encourage the child’s expression of their own feelings, which frequently are neglected in grieving families. But most important, the exercises promote coping skills. They point to connecting and sharing with others, and positive activities as strategies for feeling better. They encourage a focus on the child’s strength and so build self-esteem. They promote optimism and empower the child by encouraging the development of goals for the future and definition of steps to reach those goals. The “Kibble for Thought” summary is very nice. It highlights the central messages which are useful for child and parent alike.”