This is NOT a Cat!
by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Sterling Children’s Books, 2016
As a mouse teacher instructs her mice student on what a cat looks like, a cat enters the classroom. Frightened, teacher and students all scream “A Cat!” and run. As they leave the building, the reader sees the ‘cat’ is only a costume. Inside the costume is a rat. Smugly the rat leaves the building to come face to face with a real cat! Using minimal words and color-filled pages of action, readers can enjoy the humor of all the twists and turns in the story.
If you like humor, you may enjoy other books by David LaRochelle. Check out 1+1=5 and Other Unlikely Additions, a silly book on addition. If you have a budding actor, introduce them to Moo! Using only one word throughout the story, the story is told through voice inflections. Toddlers love this story when they quickly learn to read ‘moo’ and practice their expressive verbal skills. This book sometimes finds its way in junior and high school drama classes, too!
Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.
Little Night Cat
by Sonja Danowski
NorthSouth Books, 2016
Little Night Cat’s breath-taking illustrations will capture reader’s hearts in this heartfelt story of a young boy who gives away his most cherished possessions.
Tony wakes in anticipation of a big day at the animal shelter. He decides to donate his collection of stuffed animals. His mother suggests that it is not a good idea, but Tony insists the animals want to do it to help. While at the shelter, Tony is attracted to a gray tomcat, who approaches Tony and purrs. Without his animals, Tony can’t sleep that night and his mother pulls out of the closet an old, ragged stuffed animal from her childhood. He begs her to bring the stuffed animal when she returns to pick him up from school. She does not and he is crushed, until…he sees the surprise waiting for him.
Illustrations are rich in colors, rich in details, and moving. Each page is filled with life. This is the kind of art most can’t afford, but it can be found in a picture book. A book that will be read over and over again.
Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.
How to Catch a Mouse
By Philippa Leathers
Candlewick Press, 2015
A delightful story where the words tell one story and the illustrations tell quite another. Perfect for toddlers who like to point out the incongruencies.
Clemmie believes herself to be a fearsome mouse catcher. She’s an excellent stalker, she’s patient and alert, and she knows everything about catching a mouse. She is so fearsome, she believes, “All the mice are afraid of me.” She checks her house, and finds not a mouse until she hears a noise in the kitchen. She finds a creature wearing disguises. She discovers a mouse! Too late, it gets away. But, she just learned one trick that just might help her catch that mouse, which you’ll have to read the story to discover.
The illustrations are simple, clean and show the mouse watching Clemmie in all her moves. Chuckles on every page.
Read more reviews and order on Amazon.
Scarlett the Cat to the Rescue: Fire Hero
By Nancy Loewen, illustrated by Kristin Sorra
Picture Window Books, A Capstone Imprint, 2014
This book is based on a true story of Scarlett who rescued her five kittens by carrying them one by one out of a raging fire. Animals, especially cats, do not generally return to a fire once they are out, yet Scarlett did four times. When a fireman discovered five kittens, he looked for the mother and found her across the alley in a vacant lot, her paws, eyes and face burned. Rushed to an animal clinic, a team worked on all six patients. Their lungs were damaged by smoke and they were contained in a large oxygen tent to keep them alive.
After three months in the clinic, the kittens were old enough to find their own homes. But Scarlett was a special needs cat, requiring daily eye drops for the rest of her life. After careful consideration, they found the perfect home seeking an animal with special needs.
The computer-generated illustrations by Kristin Sorra perfectly support the story, featuring the felines in a scarlett-toned smoky haze giving the appearance and feel that they were in the fire. Readers will have instant compassion for the cats whose expressions reveal their emotions. A wonderful book for animal lovers.
See more reviews on Amazon