Here Comes Valentine Cat and Love, Splat

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Here Comes Valentine Cat

Deborah Underwood
Pictures by Claudia Rueda
Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Young Readers Group, 2016

From the dust jacket, “Cat is no fan of Valentine’s Day, especially when it brings a new dog to the neighborhood. (illustration of a dog bone hitting Cat’s head) Ouch, I’m sorry, Cat. You want to teach Dog a lesson? Well, don’t be too hasty. On Valentine’s Day, even a crabby cat can have a Change of Heart.”

Another installment in the popular (to me) Here Comes Cat books! Previous Cat books I’ve reviewed are Here Comes Easter Cat, Here Comes Tooth Fairy Cat, and Here Comes Santa Cat (click on the names to be taken to my review!!). In these books Cat is very cranky and he communicates with the reader by holding up signs and accurate facial expressions. The reader and Cat talk about what’s going on – and in this case, its Valentine’s Day.

Cat doesn’t like Valentine’s Day – he thinks it’s too mushy and adding insult to injury, a new Dog has moved next door and is throwing things over the fence at Cat. Cat wants to send Dog off in a rocket but the reader persuades Cat to see things from Dog’s point of view.

This book is so cute and funny. This is a great read aloud book or perfect for early readers. Kittens will delight in Cat’s antics and maybe even learn a little kindness along the way!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 paws because I love Cat!!!!!

Reviewer: simon-locSimon.

Love, Splat

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Love, Splat

Rob Scotton
Harper
HarperCollinsPublishers, 2008

From the back of the book, “It’s Valentine’s Day and Splat has a special valentine for a certain someone in his class. Her name is Kitten, and Splat likes her even more than fish sticks and ice cream. But Kitten doesn’t seem to like him at all. And then there’s Splat’s rival, Spike, who also likes Kitten. Will Splat’s heartfelt valentine win Kitten’s paw in the end?”

I love Splat! And not just because he’s a black cat like me! It’s because he get’s in scrapes and worries about stuff and everything always comes out fine. He’s also very funny! This is a perfect book to read to your Valentine and tell him/her just how much you like them!!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because *SPOILER ALERT* Splat gets the girl!!

Reviewer: simon-locSimon (again!)

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Mia’s Nutcracker Ballet

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Mia’s Nutcracker Ballet

Robin Farley
Illustrated by Olga & Aleksey Ivanov
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2013

From the back of the book: “Sashay, plié, Nutcracker Ballet! Mia the ballerina kitten stars in the whimsical retelling of the dance classic.”

For the ballet lover in your family, this cute book is for them! Mia receives a nutcracker as a present from her grandpa and is disappointed with it – that is, until Grandpa tells her the story of the Nutcracker Ballet. Mia’s imagination runs wild and she dreams she is Clara, her ballerina sister is the Sugar Plum Fairy and her friends play all the other parts.

This book is adorably illustrated with a clever retelling of the classic story. My only issue with it was seeing Clara’s sister with such skinny legs. I prefer my girl-kitties to be a bit on the fluffy side.

Rating 3 out of 5 paws – a very cute book, easy to understand and enjoy, a perfect book to read before going to your local holiday play of The Nutcracker.

Reviewer:

reincatSimon

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

 

A Familiar Tail

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A Familiar Tail
A Witch’s Cat Mystery #1

Delia James
Obsidian, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2016

From the back of the book: “Unlucky-in-love artist Annabelle Britton decides that a visit to the seaside town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the perfect way to get over her problems. But when she stumbles upon a smoky gray cat named Alistair and follows him into a charming cottage, Annabelle finds herself in a whole spellbook full of trouble.

“Suddenly saddled with a witch’s wand and a furry familiar, Annabelle meets a friendly group of women who use their spells, charms, and potions to keep the people of Portsmouth safe. But despite their gifts, the witches can’t prevent every wicked deed in town….

“Soon, the mystery surrounding Alistair’s former owner, who died under unusual circumstances, grows when another local turns up dead. Armed with magic, friends, and the charmed cat who adopted her, rather than the other way around, Annabelle sets out to paw through the evidence and uncover a killer.”

Wow! I enjoyed this book so much I read it straight through in one day! It’s always exciting to start a new book, especially when the book is a new series and the author has to do a lot of world-building. Love it! Portsmouth, New Hampshire – never been there, by the way – is wonderfully described – I felt I was there amongst the gardens, old shops and cottages and fancy houses. And of course, the star of the book is Alistair, a lovely gray cat who is magical and helps Annabelle solve the mystery – actually, he knows what’s really going on, but you know humans. They are inept at discerning our obvious clues so it takes his new person the whole book to figure it out.

Speaking of which, the mystery was well done – I didn’t figure out who the culprit was, nor any clue as to why, until it was revealed towards the end of the book. I hope the follow-up books are just as well done as this one; I’m seriously looking forward to them!!! The book is perfect reading for any mystery lover of any age – as long as you don’t mind practicing witches!

Rating: 4 ½ paws out of 5 – my highest rating, without it being a 5-paw rating, ever! Why 4 ½ and not 5? Well, while the story was fabulous, I’m not likely to read it again and there was no real emotional investment on my part which is the hallmark of a 5 paw book!

Reviewer:

bobbiesue-loc
BobbieSue

 

Three More Stories You Can Read to Your Cat

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Three More Stories You Can Read to Your Cat

Sara Swan Miller
Illustrated by True Kelley
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002

From the dust jacket, “Here kitty, kitty! Would you like to hear a story? Here is your chance to cozy up with your cat and treat her to three new stories written just for felines. If your cat likes to wake up early—very early—then she’ll think this book is the cat’s meow. She will also like to hear about some interesting birthday presents and funny white stuff she can play in. Here is a funny book to savor with or without your favorite cat!

“Sara Swan Miller and True Kelly, author and illustrator of Three Stories You Can Read to Your Cat, have again joined forces to create three new and hilarious adventures that will have readers everywhere happily purring. So do your cat a favor and read her this book. Just remember to pet your pet while you read!”

Three MORE stories??!! I haven’t even read the first ones! Anyway, speaking as a cat who reads books to other cats – it was very funny!! While the birthday present one and the white fluffy stuff (snow) one were both funny – the waking up early one was the funniest by far! It reminded me so much of what Toby goes through with mom almost every morning! I rolled on the floor laughing it was so funny. The author must know cats very well to write something so true to feline nature.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for laugh out loud funny stories that you’d better read to your cats!!!

Reviewer:

peggysue-loc
PeggySue