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!)

The Memory Box

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The Memory Box
A Book About Grief

Joanna Rowland
Illustrations by Thea Baker
Sparkhouse Family, 2017

From the back of the book, “From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box will help children and adults talk about this very difficult topic together. The unique point of view allows the reader to imagine the loss of any they have loved a friend, family member, or even a pet.”

I found this touching book to be both comforting and liberating on the sensitive subject of grief. It gives a voice to kittens (and maybe even adults) who don’t have the words for what they’re feeling. “…I can never have another you. I miss you. … Because I’m scared I’ll forget you.” If you, your kittens or someone you know is in the midst of grief or suffering from a loss that lingers from before, this book will help you think about it and talk about it.

The memory box idea is something our human has used before. She has a box for some of the ones who have gone before. Sometimes it takes a while before she is able to complete a box just like it takes time to work through grief; it’s important not to force the process, only to keep moving forward. Getting stuck in grief is just as bad as ignoring it completely.

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws for approaching a very sensitive topic with a delicate honesty.

Reviewer: simon-locSimon

The Bad Guys

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The Bad Guys

Aaron Blabey
Scholastic, 2017

From the back of the book, “The Bad Guys…They’re scary and dangerous and well … just BAD. But these guys want to be HEROES. And they’re going to prove it by breaking every last dog out of the pound. The Bad Guys are ready to do some good … whether you want them to or not!”

Mr. Wolf decides he’s tired of being a bad guy so he finds some very reluctant recruits to help him become one of the ‘good guys’. Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Piranha are very skeptical about being ‘good guys’ but they give it a go with hilarious results! This graphic novel for youngsters is laugh out loud, roll on the floor funny! The bit with setting the dogs free was funny, but, the best part was the gang trying to rescue a kitten in a tree! Can you imagine being stuck in a tree and seeing a wolf, shark, snake and a piranha come to your rescue? All the kitten does is SCREAM!!!!! It’s just too funny!!! Your kittens will love reading this book to themselves or to their younger siblings. Check it out today and enjoy!!!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for super laugh out loud funnies!!

Rating: peggysue-locPeggySue

The Wolf Who Fell Out of a Book

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The Wolf Who Fell Out of a Book

Thierry Robberecht
Illustrations by Gregoire Mabire
Gibbs Smith, 2017

From the dust jacket, “From a shelf in disorder, a book falls. A wolf tumbles out and finds himself lost in a strange room. The wolf needs to get back to his story, but a hungry cat has other ideas. Jumping from book to book, this wolf I on a journey to find a new home (and to avoid becoming dinner). His sharp, pointy teeth don’t help him fit in with the dinosaurs, and his shiny black fur doesn’t get him into the ball. But when he comes to a forest, the wolf feels right at home. As the wolf explores his new story, he comes upon a little girl in a red hood. She has been waiting for someone just like him to arrive.”

Apart from the cute, fat orange tabby who hunts down the wolf, there’s not much I liked about this book. The wolf is weird looking, it’s not a new idea, and the ending left a whole lot to be desired. I’m glad the story was set in a room with a couple of huge book cases and tons of books, and the unnamed cat is great. Everything else? Nah…we’ll just take this one right back to the library.

Rating 2 out of 5 paws – even the presence of a fabulous feline could not bring this book even a 3 paw rating!

Reviewer: simon-locSimon

Not Friends

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Not Friends

Rebecca Bender
Pajama Press Inc, 2017

From the dust jacket, “Giraffe and Bird are not friends. Not even a little bit. The bird pesters the giraffe with his face-making, feather-pruning, and disgusting eating habits. The giraffe annoys the bird with his bad breath, ear-swatting, and lack of respect for personal space. Of course they are always fighting. Of course they would be better off without each other. After all, Giraffe and Bird are not friends…or are they?

“With bold acrylic illustrations, expressive word play, and laugh-out-loud storytelling, award-winning author-illustrator Rebecca Bender delivers an odd-couple tale that is anything but your average friendship story. Satisfyingly un-sweet an uproariously irreverent, Not Friends invites thoughtful discussion about children’s relationships with each other – though first you’ll have to wait for the giggling to stop.”

Ha-ha! This is a funny book! Bird and Giraffe are indeed every bit as funny (and not friends) as the publisher blurb states. I particularly liked it when Bird poops on Giraffe’s head – oops – I should have called *spoiler alert*! Don’t worry! I didn’t spoil the story!

Delightfully illustrated with expressive faces on Bird and Giraffe will bring out laughter in kittens of all ages in this story of two ‘frenemies’. Maybe they’ll realize they have a “not-friend” in their lives as well and learn to look at them with new eyes as well as learn to accept those habits which bug them the most.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because it is laugh-out-loud funny!

Reviewer: simon-locSimon