Mark Twain for Cat Lovers

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Mark Twain for Cat Lovers
True and Imaginary Adventures with Feline Friends

Edited by Mark Dawidziak
Rowman & Littlefield, 2016

From the back of the book, “From his boyhood in Hannibal, Missouri, to his last years in Connecticut, Mark Twain spent much of his life surrounded by cats, and they stalk through many of his best-known books. In this lighthearted book, Mark Dawidzak explores the writer’s lifelong devotion to cats, illuminating a little-known side of this famous writer’s life that will appeal to Twain aficionados and cat lovers alike.”

Well, its about time I got the chance to review a book (BobbieSue has nearly taken over the blog with her cozy mysteries!!). Before reading this little gem of a book, we didn’t realize Mark Twain was such a cat lover. Not only did he have cats of his own but when he went anywhere else to stay for an extended period, he would rent (meaning, borrow) a cat from someone else to keep him company.

This book covers various stories from Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, as well as various newspaper and magazine articles and even his autobiography. Some of the names of his cats were Abner, Stray Kit, Sour Mash, Zoroaster, Deuteronomy, Tammany and Billiards.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the home-spun antics of Mark Twain, then you’ll enjoy this book. And, as the publisher’s blurb says, if you love cats, you’ll really love this book. It’s a mixture of fiction and nonfiction, so if fits so many readers wants!!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for also including photographs of Mark Twain with cats!!

Reviewer: toby-locToby

 

I Wish I Was Sick, Too!

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I Wish I Was Sick, Too!

Franz Brandenberg
Illustrated by Aliki
Random House, 1976

From Goodreads, “When Edward gets sick and gets special treatment in bed, his sister thinks itis unfair and wants to get sick as well.”

Very cute story about a kitten who is jealous of her brother. Now, kittens, let’s be honest – when one of your siblings was getting special treatment for something or another, were you jealous of them? Did you wish you could get special stuff, too? I’m sure you have, we all do; its apart of being a cat (or person). And even though its in our nature to be jealous of others, we can choose not to be. I know its hard, but there’s an old adage that says, “Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.” And getting what we wish for doesn’t always turn out to be a good thing.

Elizabeth is jealous of her brother and wishes she were sick so she could get special treatment, too. Well, she did get sick and it makes me wonder if it was worth feeling miserable, probably queasy and weak just to get those niceties of eating in bed, phone calls from aunt and uncle, grandma reading to her and so on. She must have thought it not worth it because she was so grateful to get well.

This little picture book is a good way to learn not to be jealous of others. Next time you’re feeling jealous over what’s going on with a sibling or friend, remember that its better to be thankful for the good that’s in their lives as well as yours!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for a good life lesson and very cute illustrations.

Reviewer: Simon

simon-loc

It’s All About Me-ow

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It’s All About ME-ow

Hudson Talbott
Nancy Paulson Books, Penguin Young Readers, 2012

From the dust jacket, “Cats rule! And this funny, endearing look at cat culture celebrates all the wonders of our fabulous feline friends – from whiskers to tail. Do you ever wonder how cats achieve the perfect balance of “cattitude” and cuteness? How they’ve mastered the art of charming humans? Here, all the tricks of their trade are revealed as a wise cat happily shares essential advice with the younger generation. Entertaining lessons abound, including a catwalk through history, guidance on what animals to catch (mouse = do, gerbil = don’t), and the importance of purr therapy to calm your humans.”

Loved this book! It’s funny and so true!! We cats are shown to be superior to humans in every way, especially in communication skills. Humans are so weird – and LOUD! We really need to teach our humans the more refined, subtle message of ‘cat’. And I loved the closing ‘words of wisdom’ – “Keep your outside mild, but your inside wild.”

Rating: 4 out of 5 – for absolute total cuteness and fact!!!!

Reviewer: simon-locSimon

 

 

Charlie and the Christmas Kitty

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Charlie and the Christmas Kitty

Ree Drummond
Illustrations by Diane deGroat
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2012

From the dust jacket: “Why is there a great big tree in the house?!? And why are all these boxes underneath it? Hey—what is that?!? Where did it come from? Uh oh. This isn’t good. … This isn’t good at all!

“In this hilarious follow-up to the New York Times bestselling picture book Charlie the Ranch Dog, Ree Drummond—the Pioneer Woman herself—delivers a story about getting into the holiday spirit and finding the good in all. Even though Charlie may not have put a kitty on his Christmas list, he learns that if you keep an open heart, new friends can come in unexpected packages.”

What a cute holiday story! Boy, is Charlie the basset hound surprised when he finds a kitten under the tree on Christmas morning! He’s so funny when he tries to ignore the kitten at first and then when he tries to scare him off with a big bark/howl. And then, poor guy, is surprised at the very end by another youngster! A very sweet and heartwarming story to read to your kittens during this season of cheer!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for the sweet story and adorable illustrations.

Reviewer:

reincatSimon

Papa Piccolo

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Papa Piccolo

Carol Talley
Illustrated by Itoko Maeno
Marsh Media, 1992, 2008

From the dust jacket: “The lion is the emblem of Venice, but the common cat rules its narrow streets and alleyways. A prince among these feline rulers is Piccolo, and what a fine life he leads! Especially after dark—when the streets are full of possibilities!

“Then one night, Piccolo makes a discovery that threatens his carefree life and his independence and starts him on a new and special kind of adventure.

“In these pages, you will also meet Caesar—Piccolo’s older and somewhat cynical friend, and Sophia—the shoe shop cat, to whom Piccolo turns for advice when his life takes it turn. And you will meet two irresistible kittens—one spotted and one striped—who need a home and who help Piccolo discover his own tender heart.”

Piccolo is quite the roaming tomcat – he and his pal Caesar patrol their streets looking for mischief and sardines! All that changes when he meets two homeless kittens and after he tries to pawn the kittens off on a female friend, Sophia (she says absolutely not!), they win him over and he becomes a papa.

This is an adorable book that offers a different kind of family – one that has a boy cat looking after kittens. The author wrote it to teach boys that it’s okay to be nurturing but thankfully, the teaching part comes as an afterword at the end of the book and not as a part of the story. The illustrations of Venice are wonderful – it makes me want to go there!

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws because Piccolo rescued some kittens and is proud to be a papa!

Reviewer: simon-loc Simon