The Tale Of The Lucky Cat

Retold and illustrated by Sunny Seki

Presented by Brianna Winn

Information about the book:

Genre: Folktale
Themes: caring, kindness, love
Awards: NAPPA Honor Award 2007
Preferred Choice Award from Creative Child Magazine

About Sunny Seki

Sunny was originally born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to the United States when he was 24 years old. He married his wife, Judy 23 years ago and they have nine kids together in California. He has a degree from Japan University of Fine Arts with a bachelors degree in Photography. He opened his own photography studio in 1979 specializing in portraits, weddings, pets, and restoring old photographs.

Multicultural Criteria

1. Portray cultural accuracy and authenticity of characters in terms of the following: physical characteristics, intellectual abilities and problem-solving capabilites, leadership and cooperative dimensions, social economic status. This book portrays the cultural accuracy by the illustrations in the book, the different characteristics in the features of the main character. The book introduces new Japanese vocabulary to define. The main character, Tokzu looks for advice from a Osho, a Buddhist leader.
2. Language should reflect distinctive vocabulary, style, and patterns of speech of the cultural group. In the book The text has both English and Japanese saying the same text. Within the English part there are many Japanese vocabulary that we don't use in the English language, even the name Tokzu we don't see as a common name in the United States.
3. Setting should be representative of and consistent with historical or contemporary time, place, or situation of a particular culture. The setting takes place in Japan with Tokzu going town to town. He eventually makes his way to a Buddhist temple.

Lesson Plan

Grade Level 2nd

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL2.2: Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

Lesson Objective: Students will determine clear examples from the book that shows that caring and loving one another can be hard but it is worth it in the end.

Lesson Procedure:

1. The teacher will start the lesson by having the students join all together on the reading rug. Once the the students are all together remind them of criss cross applesauce. The teacher will open the conversation with reviewing the different types of character traits the school has established to work on. Ask the students if they ever seen kindness or love in certain situations. Call on a few students then ask them to share with a partner.
2. The teacher would introduce the book "The Tale of the Lucky Cat". Ask the students what they know about a folktale and ask them for an example.
3.Explain that "The Tale of the Lucky Cat" is a Japanese folktale and that the book has both English and Japanese text on the pages. Encourage the student not to only look at the pictures but the Japanese as well.
4. Read the book to the students and then engage in conversation with asking these questions.

  • What was your favorite part of the book?
  • How do you think Tokuzo felt when he decided to take care of Tama? when Tama died? when he decided to make a statue of Tama to share with everyone?
  • How did Tokuzo show kindness?
  • What was the major challenge for Tokzu?
  • How is this book different from a English book we typically read in class? What did you notice?
  • Did anyone look at the Japanese? How is it different from our language?
  • Tokzu showed kindness even though it was really hard, how can you show kindness to others here at school? in your neighborhood? with your family?
Relate kindness back to the character traits we talked about before reading the book.
5. After the discussion the students will go back to their desks and complete a brainstorm chart of different ways they could show kindness to other during the week. After the student can come up with seven ideas the student will pick one of those and make it their goal this week to follow through.
6. A week later it could be a good idea to review the message of the book and ask them about their goals and if they completed them.


The Tale of the Lucky Cat by briannawinn

Seki, Sunny. The Tale of the Lucky Cat. Manhattan Beach, CA: East West Discovery, 2008. Print.