Because of Thursday by Patricia Polacco

I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.


Good things happen to Annie Fetlock on Thursdays.  She met her husband, they got married, her children were born, she and her husband opened a restaurant, and she created her signature dish – Poke Salad- all on various Thursdays.  For a long time, Annie’s life was very, very good.


From Because of Thursday by Patricia Polacco. Image used with permission.

Then on a far-off Monday, Annie’s husband passes away.  And, understandably, it is very hard for her. She tries but isn’t able to keep up her momentum and she has to close the restaurant.

Her whole town basically closes down with her and leaves her sitting on her porch staring into space.  Things were set to go on like this for awhile, but then one Thursday, wrapped up in a hand embroidered dish towel with the word Thursday on it — Annie finds a kitten.


From Because of Thursday by Patricia Polacco. Image used with permission.

Something about this kitten reminds her of her late husband, she decides to keep him, and names him Thursday.  The two of them enjoy watching cooking shows about a traveling chef, hanging out with the neighbor’s kids, and begin cooking for anyone who drops by.

Soon Thursday the cat is literally dancing and performing tricks on the table and Annie has a kitchen full of people.  She starts making her famous Poke Salad again and pretty soon she realizes that it is time to reopen her restaurant.

The health inspector, being so happy that Annie’s restaurant is back, turns a blind eye  to a cat in the restaurant and allows Thursday to become a regular fixture in the restaurant. While people are eating their food, they are entertained by Thursday’s “dazzling array” of tricks.

Word gets out and soon the restaurant is as busy as ever.  But one day, a mysterious person shows up at the restaurant and does his best not to be seen.  Who could this be? Why is he here? And does this have anything to do with the cat, Thursday?  So many questions!

You can read more about the book, but don’t do it.  Just read the book.  The story has so many fun surprises that it is best if you just read it.

At the end of the story is Patricia Palacco’s own pasta dish.  It looks delicious and my son has been begging us to make it for weeks now.

Inspired by Patricia Palacco’s own cat, Thursday, this is a sweet, fun, and happy story that unlike a lot of her stories — leaves you dry-eyed and smiling (versus teary-eyed and smiling).  I was so hesitant to read this book with my children because so many of her books, as uplifting as they are, have left me ugly-face crying.  Her books are always good medicine for the soul.  They are always beautifully crafted and illustrated and her stories are engaging, authentic, and highlight important parts of life that tend to get overlooked but shouldn’t — but I tend to feel gutted after reading her works.  I out-and-out sobbed when I read Chicken Sunday and Thank You, Mr. Falker. Each time I read one of her books, I sort of sigh and think before beginning, “Well, this is gonna hurt.” Because of Thursday, I can assure you, ends with all of us smiling and no handkerchief necessary.  It’s a welcome change and I appreciate the variety.

Because of Thursday has so much joy in it and really celebrates community, food, and spontaneity.  It’s a wonderful story to remind us all that life keeps going.  Even after loss there will be, eventually, more to live and more to love.  The story, even though it is whimsical and outlandish in many ways, portrays a widow’s grief in a way that is touching and real, without repelling young children.  I’ve read many stories with my family that when it gets sad, my eldest son is no longer interested in the book and refuses to continue. Because of Thursday brings you almost to the point of tears, but then everything that follows is so happy, magical, and delightful that when you think of the story, you find yourself smiling.

My construction-loving-spaceship-obsessed-minecraft-addicted six-year-old son loves Because of Thursday.  He found it on my desk and after looking through it himself asked if I would read it to him.  He loved how the kitten showed up and how the kids would go over to Annie’s house.  He loves to go to restaurants and asked if the story was real because he wanted to go to that restaurant and see the dancing cat and eat pasta salad.  When I told him that no, sadly, there are no restaurants that I know of that have dancing cats — he professed that he’ll open one himself when he grows up.

When talking with him about the illustrations he said, “The pictures feel like a memory.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Because of Thursday is a delicious and joyous celebration of friends, family, food, and of course, cats.

Recommended Ages 4 to 8. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. October 2016. 40 pages. ISBN: 978-1481421409 Fiction.

Where to Get it:

Author and Illustrator Websites:

More Reviews:

Storytime Online has two of Patricia Polacco’s books:

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. I absolutely adore Patricia Polacco. I think she was the first children’s author I ever met when she was promoting “The Keeping Quilt.” I have not read this book, but will remedy it soon. I now have great grandchildren to share her books with!


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