Lost and Found Cat - The True Story of Kunkush's Incredible Journey

Lost and Found Cat - The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes




Sura and her family, , like many in Iraq and other war torn countries, could no longer stay in Mosul. It had become too dangerous. Sura, a single parent since her husband had died needed to take her family somewhere more safe. They had to leave, joining the millions of other refugees hoping for a better life somewhere else.  Sura and her children  had to leave most of their possessions behind when they left Mosul, but they were not leaving their beloved cat, Kunkush. They packed him away secretly for the long and frightening journey with them to Greece. When they finally landed on the island of Lesbos, a terrified Kunkush ran off into the forest.  With the help of kind and compassionate volunteers, Kunkush was reunited with his family. This is the story of the plight of refugees, but also of people’s choice to help other people (and their pet’s to find a better life).

Genre - biographical
Text Structure - picture book
Lexile Level  - AD810L

Themes - refugee crisis and  life, loss & survival, family and pets, compassion and  kindness, journeys, volunteering to help others

Rings of Culture represented

Ethnicity: middle-eastern/various
Age: intergenerational
Gender: various
Socio -Economic: various
National: Iraq/Greece
Religion: muslim

Why it’s VABBulous  

  • Koontz/Shrodes deliver a narrative non-fiction text that is both relevant to the refugee crisis, but appropriate for young readers.
  • representations of surface level culture in illustrations,
  • Nuances of deeper levels of  cultural iceberg addressed as well including
    • Relationships to animals, problem solving roles, patterns of group decision making, tempo of work,  personal space, nature of friendships, patterns of handling emotions
  • Contains author's note that gives more information about the refugee crisis, a map of Kunkush's journey, plus a photo timeline of the actual family/people involved in Kunkush's journey great for even more VABB instructional possibilities.

Ideas for CLR 

Set it Off (Into the Text)

Inner - Outer Circle  - Validates/Affirms: Interpersonal, Dynamic Attention Span, Communalism, Reciprocity

Give each student one of the following questions (or similar questions). To modify this activity, if students are not reading, give them the question prompts verbally each time they rotate to discuss with each new partner.

  • Describe your pet. (name/what kind/what it looks like) If you don’t have one, what kind do you wish you had?

  • What is the best thing about having a pet?

  • What is the worst thing about having a pet?

  • What is an adventure you and your pet had, or would you like to have?

  • Have you ever helped someone else with their pet? How?

  • What emotions would you feel(have you felt) if you lost your pet?

Have students form two circles.

  1. One inner circle where each student faces out towards  students making  up the outer circle, who face in.  Each student should be facing another student.

  2. Next, begin with the inner circle and ask those students to ask their question while the other student responds.

  3. Then the students in the outer circle should ask their question while the student on the inner circle responds.

  4. When the 60 seconds is up, instruct students in the outer circle (or the inner circle) to rotate one student clockwise, and the process is repeated until several rotations are completed and/or one full rotation is made.

    1. You have the option of having one circle rotating one student clockwise and the other circle rotating one student counter-clockwise if you want all students to have an opportunity to move.

I gave this a 7-10 on Responsive Dots. What did you give it?

Lydia McClanahan