Published in two volumes, in 1986 and 1991

Took 13 years to complete

Depicts his father’s story and his stormy relationship with his father

It is the only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer


All people are represented by animals in the novel, symbolizing their roles in the


Mice—Pestilence, breeds rapidly with large amounts of offspring; live silently among people; hard to get rid of

Cats—hunt mice; protect the home from pestilence

Pigs—Jews don’t eat pork and consider the pig a dirty animal; the Poles were often collaborators with the Germans

Fish—the British have long been famous for their navy

Frogs—frogs are slippery, slimy; frogs can change into princes; the French are renowned for eating frogs

Dogs—man’s best friend; loyal; chase cats

Gypsy Moth—gypsies are always on the move like the moth, flitting around

Reindeer—reindeer, like the Swedes, are from the North

Mouse with Cat Stripes—the child of a

German and a Jew after the war

1. What is the relationship like between Artie and his father?

2. How does Vladek find out what kind of housekeeper Anja was?

3. It was so cold in autumn in the prisoner of war camp that what happened to the birds?

4. What toy does Art draw his brother playing with? Why did he choose this toy?

5. Who were the guards in the ghetto who had big sticks and acted just like the Germans?

6. How did Richieu die?

7. What does Vladek have Anja chew on since she is so hungry?

8. What is the shape of the road when Vladek and Anja are walking away?

9. What was Vladek’s last treasure that was taken from him?

10. What year it is when they are taken away in the truck to Auschwitz?






When added together, what number did

Vladek’s tattoo add up to?

When did Vladek die and what caused his death?

When did Art’s mother die and how did she die?

What animal does Art guess that he would have drawn the Israelis?

How far was it from Auschwitz I to Birkenau?

6. How much did Vladek have to save up to bribe the guards to bring Anja over?

7. How did the prisoners get cigarettes?

8. How long did Vladek say it took for the victims to die in the gas chamber?

9. Out of the 200 people who were in the train car with Vladek, how many survived?

10. Who liberated Vladek and his friend?

Extra credit (worth 20 points)

Who did Vladek call Art in the last frame on page 136?

How might this have upset Art?