The Memory Cupboard
A Thanksgiving Story
Paintings by Ben F. Stahl
Albert Whitman & Company, 2003
From the dust jacket, “For Katie, nothing compares to Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. There’s an overnight train ride to Grandma’s house. There are the aunts and uncles, whom Katie loves to see each year. Most of all, there is Grandma, who stays close to Katie though they live far apart.
“But a cherished object is broken at dinner, and Katie blames herself for spoiling the day. Then Grandma shows Katie her memory cupboard. And Katie realizes that though we grow attached to our possessions, it is people who really matter.”
For cats who are clumsy like me, it’s good to have a loving and forgiving mom! And that’s the crux of this story – as the publisher stated, felines are more important than things! I’ve broken a few things in my long life and mom may have initially been upset but she always remembers things can be replaced but I cannot.
This book is a good one for the whole family to read and although it takes place at Thanksgiving, the story is good all year ‘round. I love the interaction between Katie and Grandma – there’s lots of love between them and it feels good to read about.
Rating 4 out of 5 paws because of the warm fuzzies I got while reading it!
Beauty and the Beaks
A Turkey’s Cautionary Tale
Mary Jane and Herm Auch
Holiday House, 2007
From the dust jacket, “Beauty and her friends think Lance is one conceited bird. The turkey swaggers around The Chic Hen Beauty Shop, boasting that he is the only bird invited to a special feast. But while Beauty is practicing her favorite eggsercise, flying, she accidentally finds out just what kind of guest Lance will be at the feast. Can Beauty come up with a plan to save Lance before his life eggspires?”
What an eggcellent book! Not only is the story adorable but the chickens (& turkey) are super creative and filled with flocks of fun! Those 3-toed feet in high heels!!! Lance the turkey and his tail feathers! And the chickens in their outfits a funny hair styles! All so funny! Kittens will certainly enjoy this Thanksgiving story especially because it involves tricking humans out of their bird-feast! Read this to them but don’t let your kittens talk you into letting your turkey go free!
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws for the eggtraspecial art work of the flock.
Bad Kitty: Scaredy-Cat
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!!!
Tea with Oliver
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… .
Marigold Bakes a Cake
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.