Elizabeth Partridge - Big Cat Pepper.jpg

Big Cat Pepper


Big Cat Pepper has always been a part of the family. But he seems to be sleeping more and more. And then one day he just doesn't wake up again. "His spirit lives forever," the boy's mother tells him gently. Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, the complex issue of death for young readers is addressed here in a loving, accessible way.

Illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Bloomsbury Publishing 2009



"The entirely secular explanation of death and the fact that there is no substitution pet added to the family in the end make this a very worthwhile addition to bibliotheraputic literature for the young." Kirkus

“Because of their loyalty and innocence, the death of a pet is especially poignant, and Partridge gets it just right with this tale of a boy and his beloved cat, Pepper." Booklist

“Castillo’s mixed-media domestic scenes, rendered in muted tones and composed mostly along the same, prosceniumlike plane, provide reassurance and emotional ballast for both the narrator and readers.” Publisher's Weekly


Author's note:

Children deal with loss much more often than we realize. Friends move away or move on, the school year ends, teachers leave, parents divorce, and pets die. I wanted to share a story of loss where the comfort wasn’t tied to a particular religion, but was deeply spiritual. It was offered to the child, and found when he was ready to open his heart.