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The Cat with Seven Names Wins Bock Book Award

The Cat with Seven Names


Neumann University has selected The Cat with Seven Names, written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Christine Davenier, as the recipient of the 2014 Frances and Wesley Bock Book Award for Children’s Literature. The award will be presented on Friday, October 10, at 10:30 a.m. in the Neumann University Library.


This book tells the story of a neighborhood cat who interacts with and positively affects the lives of a diverse group of people in his city neighborhood. They eventually come together to help the cat and learn his true identity.


The illustrations are bright and inviting, drawing readers into the environment where the story takes place.


The Cat with Seven Names touches on the Franciscan values of service, community, care for creation, and diversity.

Wesley Bock was co-owner of Kilner’s, a store in north central Philadelphia that provided equipment, clothing, and supplies to religious institutions. As a sales representative to the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, he grew to be quite fond of the Sisters and began making contributions to the order.

When Wesley passed away, his wife Frances continued the contributions. When she passed away, the estate passed to their nephew, who, in consultation with the library, established the Bock Book Award in their memory.

The award acknowledges Franciscan values in children’s books and gives each year’s winner a prize of $750, a plaque, and a gold emblazoned emblem for the book. Criteria for the award include text that is values-oriented, interesting and stimulating for ages 3-8 years, and pleasing and aesthetic. The illustrations should provide support for interpreting the story, instill a reverence for and compassion for all creation, and depict creation in all of its diversity. Both the text and illustrations should promote a moral attitude and/or action.

Previous winners include The Sandal Artist by Kathleen T. Pelley, 2013; The Ocean Story by John Seven, 2012; Mama The O Miti by Donna Jo Napoli, 2011; Felina’s New Home by Loran Wlodarski, 2010; Zen Ties by Jon Muth, 2009; We Are One by Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, 2008; Brother Juniper by Diane Gibfried, 2007; Daniel and His Walking Stick by Wendy McCormick, 2006; Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming, 2005; The Boy with a Wish by Harry B. Knights, 2004; In the Blink of an Eye by Dieter Wiesmuller, 2003; Where does God Live? by Holly Bea, 2002; Each Living Thing by Joanne Ryder, 2001; and Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey by Robert Byrd, 2000.



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