Happy Halloween, Mittens

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Happy Halloween, Mittens

Lola M. Schaefer

Pictures by Susan Kathleen Hartung

Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2010

From the dust jacket: “Nick is getting ready for Halloween, and Mittens wants to help. But the only thing he seems to be good at is making a mess—until Mittens finds his own way to contribute to the special night’s spooky good fun.”

This is a beginning reader book that is very cute. The print is very large, with simple sentences that carry the story along. The pictures are sweet and show lots of expression in both Nick and Mittens. When you and your kittens are getting ready for Halloween, this is the perfect book to read! You’ll laugh at Mitten’s antics, feel a little sorry for him when he gets into trouble but want to cheer when he finally saves the holiday!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for a very cute gray tabby kitten that reminds mom of {Angel} Agnes.

Reviewer:

peggysue-loc

PeggySue

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Bad Kitty: Scaredy-Cat

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Bad Kitty: Scaredy-Cat

 

Nick Bruel

A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Book Press, 2016

From the dust jacket, “Kitty wasn’t always such a scaredy-cat.  She used to be brave. She used to be daring. She used to be energetic! That is, until one late October day a group of terrifying monsters showed up on her doorstop. (I think that’s supposed to be ‘doorstep’). There was … an Angry Alien and a Bizarre Bigfoot and a Creepy clown!

“Then kitty became scared … very scared. Until she discovered they came with Candy. In this spookily hilarious picture book, she’s up against something scary, something creepy, and something more frightening than Puppy’s slobber: Halloween.”

Here’s yet another book about a kitty being bad, and yet again, I don’t like reading books about cats being bad. And, like Rotten Ralph, Bad Kitty is not a prettily illustrated cat. She’s not as ugly as Rotten Ralph, but she’s definitely on the ugly side of the fence. Why do authors and illustrators think that only ugly cats can misbehave? PeggySue is a beautiful cat – but boy is she rotten when she wants to be!

Anyway, this book about Halloween is pretty cute – it counts down the alphabet several times; first all about who Kitty was (a gallant kitty, an inept kitty, a kittenish kitty. Then, as trick or treaters begin coming to the house, the reader counts down a Bad Kitty alphabet of monsters! The third time there’s a Bad Kitty alphabet it’s all about the candy the trick or treaters dropped – which just sets her off in frantic Bad Kitty-walloping the monsters alphabet. That one is very funny!!

Since I sort-of like Bad Kitty, I’ll be giving her another chance in a Christmas book I’ll be reading later. But for now, her rating is 3 out of 5 paws. Her story was cute but she sure isn’t!!!

Reviewer:

witch-simon

Simon

 

Tea with Oliver

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Tea with Oliver

Mika Song

Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017

From the dust jacket, “Dear Reader, Oliver is not like other cats. He likes cookies and tea. Just like me. I think we will be best friends…if he will just read one of my letters! Philbert the Mouse.”

It’s usually cat vs. mouse in most stories but in this one, Tea with Oliver, the reader learns just because someone is different doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with them! Oliver’s story is sweet and we enjoyed the illustrations.

Rating, 3 out of 5 paws because we liked it – we just didn’t love it. Maybe with different illustrations… .

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon

 

 

Marigold Bakes a Cake

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Marigold Bakes a Cake

Mike Malbrough

Philomel Books, 2017

From the dust jacket, “Marigold the cat loves Mondays, for that is when he bakes cakes! With his favorite recipe in front of him, he rolls up his sleeves and gets down to it.

“He whips up egg whites…Easy. He adds a cup of milk…Peasy. Then he sprinkles in just a pinch of FINCH?!

“That’s not right at all! Neither are the smidgeons of pigeons or the spoonfuls of loons who noisily and messily barge their way into Marigold’s kitchen. Clearly a chase is in order.”

Oh, we all loved this book – especially Toby because Marigold is a lovely shade orange. And because Marigold is so beautifully illustrated. And the expressions on his face when the birds invade Marigold’s kitchen and when he has a kind-hearted moment for the attempt at a bird-made cake. The orange tabby’s story made us laugh out loud – especially when Marigold flew into “full feline frenzy”!!

If you have a human or cat in your life who is particularly fussy about everything, read them this book. Maybe it will help them to loosen up a bit.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because Marigold reminds mom of Toby and his antics.

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon

 

Ghost Cat

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Ghost Cat

 

Eve Bunting

Illustrated by Kevin M. Barry

Sleeping Bear Press, 2017

From the dust jacket, “For many years Miss Maggie McCullen has been the keeper for the Port Carrick lighthouse. The people in Port Carrick are proud of her. “She keeps that big light going,” they say. “Never misses a night. You can’t count the lives Miss Maggie and her light saved.” And while the people are grateful to Miss Maggie, they also worry about her and her lonely life at the lighthouse.

“But they don’t know that she has her cat, Sailor Boy, for company. Because Sailor Boy is no ordinary cat. He’s a ghost cat. He can make himself visible or invisible, especially when visitors come to call and he wants to be mischievous.  But when a fierce storm comes and Miss Maggie needs special assistance, Sailor Boy proves just how extraordinary he is.”

This is the second book I’ve read recently about a ghostly pet! (The other one is Goldfish Ghost!) In this case the cat, Sailor Boy can make himself be seen or unseen. The story is pretty good – the author spends half the book giving the reader background info and then the big event happens. Sailor Boy does prove himself to be very helpful and saves the day. However, the story ended abruptly – when I turned the (what turned out to be) the last page, I was really surprised – I felt it needed at least one more page to wind-up the tale. I read the book several times just to make sure and each time it was the same thing – one page short of a sure winner.

Rating 3 out of 5 paws – a good story with delightful illustrations!!

Reviewer:

simon-loc

Simon