Groucho’s Eyebrows

What an unusual cat!

What an unusual cat!

Illustrated by Barbara Lavallee

Alaska Northwest Books, 2012

32 pp, softbound, 10.5 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches

  • ISBN-10: 0882408925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882408927

Ages 4-8

Kristie is delighted to receive a fluffy white kitten with funny black eyebrows. She names him Groucho after a famous man who made people laugh. Kristie dresses Groucho up and takes him for rides in a doll stroller. She wraps him around her neck and cuddles with him. They even play a game of hide-and-seek in the snowy outdoors. Groucho is Nanook, the polar bear, and Kristie is an Artic tracker. But the game becomes serious when the kitten slips out the door into the snowy wilderness. The devastated child follows tracks in the snow that lead to other animals, but not her beloved Groucho. How can she possibly find a snowy white cat in the winter woods? The heartwarming tale comes to a satisfying conclusion as the clever child focuses on her cat’s distinctive feature. Based on a real snowy white cat named Groucho, the story is beautifully illustrated. Soft breezy watercolors spill across the pages and capture the loving emotions and wintry scenes. 2003, Alaska Northwest Books/Graphics Arts Center Publishing, Ages 6 to 10.     — Laura Hummel – Children’s Literature

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Praise for Groucho’s Eyebrows

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten to Grade 2. Brown takes readers to Alaska for a story of pigtailed Kristie and her cat pal, Groucho, so named for the black “eyebrow” markings on his white fur. From games of hide-and-seek (he’s Nanook; she’s the great Arctic tracker) to under-the-covers snuggles, the partnership develops until kitty escapes through the door during a package delivery. Kristie’s calls carry escalating dread; she knows about potential predators and a “kitty that had stayed out too long on a wintry night.” In the end, however, his distinctive eyebrows make the errant cat quite visible amid the snowdrifts. The story is a bit too long, but Lavallee’s cozy paintings keep readers’ interest from straying. The droll-looking cat, the child’s colorful layers of outdoor wear, and the scary and sweet forest scenes give pleasure at every turn. — Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA; Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Cat sneaked into author’s heart, book. Anyone who has ever been nutty about a feline campanion knows how a cat can pad into a house one minute and creep into a heart the next. Alaska author, Tricia Brown’s white cat with black marks above its eyes managed to climb into her career too. The former family pet, on which Brown based her new book children’s book, “Groucho’s Eyebrows” was a reject at an animal shelter in Fairbanks when Brown found her.   —Anchorage Daily News, Rose Cox, Sept 2003.

Groucho is a white cat with distinctive black eyebrows that make him look like Groucho Marx. Kristen and Groucho have fun together and are the best friends. One day Groucho get out of the house when her mother is signing for a package at the door and decides he will play Nanook with Kristen, except Kristen is still at school. When Kristen returns. her beloved cat is nowhere to be found, and although she calls and calls and eventually checks with all the neighbors, she ends up with a heavy heart worried about all the dangers that Groucho could encounter…. The illustrations are done in watercolor in the unmistakable style of Barbara Lavallee and enhance the text with their Northern appeal.    — Kirkus, May 2004


Based on the story of a real catGroucho’s Eyebrow‘s is based on a real cat, who once won a trophy for “Most Unique Cat” in the Fairbanks North Star Borough!

Teachers, click below to download a study guide:

Groucho’s Eyebrows Study Guide

A student's rendition of Groucho

A student’s rendition