Nat the Cat

nat the cat

Nat the Cat
Can Sleep Like That

Victoria Allenby
Illustrations by Tara Anderson
PajamaPress, 2013

From the dust jacket: “Nat has a talent for sleeping all day long. Name any place in the house and Nat can sleep in, on, under, or sprawled across it. In fact, Nat is so devoted to slumber that the kitten’s energetic escapades don’t bother him one bit, until …
“When the night time quiet falls,
When strange shadows fill the halls,
“Now Nat is all fired up and ready to go! Will the kitten be able to keep up, or is it time for her to find the perfect place to settle down for a wee nap?
“Victoria Allenby’s rhythmic verse perfectly accompanies Tara Anderson’s irresistible art. Cat lovers young and old will delight in this not-quite-ready-for-bedtime treat.”

Toby particularly loved this book when I read it to him – he likes anything that stars a ginger man-cat. But I think it’s because the way and where Nat sleeps. Just like Toby, Nat can sleep on his back, in drawers, half-on and half-off a shelf, in sunpuddles and always in mom’s way when she’s busy around the house. Me? I find the most comfortable spot around – mom’s bed – at least 99.9% of the time! At night, also just like Nat, Toby seems to get a second wind and tears around the house like a madcat, tearing up the place!

This is a fun book for kittens; the book jacket says it’s a good bedtime book, but I don’t think so – it’s liable to excite your kittens rather than settle them down. Maybe you can read it to them after naptime to get them going again. The rhymes are easy, the printing is large and a mix of black and white/yellow on dark and white background, and the illustrations are so cute!! We really enjoyed it!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws for a sleeping ginger cat like Toby!!!





The Catawampus Cat

the catawampus cat

The CATawampus Cat
Jason Carter Eaton
Pictures by Gus Gordon
Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, 2017

From the dust jacket, “Sometimes all it takes is a small shift in perspective to help you see what was right there all along.” “Catawampus (cat-uh-wahm-pus) n. <1. Diagonal or at an angle. 2. Askey, awry. As in: The catawampus cat walked into town one day, and that’s when everything began to change.”

Do you remember the following nursery rhyme?

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

This story has nothing to do with a crooked man, mouse, house or cat, but for some reason it reminds me of it. Maybe it’s the crooked cat – but this cat is catawampus, not crooked! That means he walks around town at an angle which causes a lot of the townfolk to look at him – and their lives – differently. Without knowing it (or, maybe he does) he changes everything around him – and at the very end he changes himself!!!

Love the illustrations – particularly how the artist incorporates paper clippings into his illustrations (which, by the way, has inspired Mom to make some new collages!) The cat is cute, although the way he is drawn, it looks like he walks around with closed eyes – but maybe that’s to show how aloof he is to what goes on around him. The print is a medium size and printed in black on mostly light-colored backgrounds so it will be easy to read for most kittens.

Rating, 4 out of 5 paws because like all cats, he remains unique and an enigma to everyone. Also, the illustrations are inspiring to Mom!!






Rosemary Wells
Hyperion Books for Children, 1998

From the dust jacket: “What a great day it’s going to be! Yoko’s mother has made her favorite sushi for lunch and packed it in a willow-covered cooler. The bus whisks Yoko to school where she greets all her friends and joins in the Good Morning Song. But when lunchtime arrives, suddenly everyone notices Yoko’s sushi. The teasing starts and her happy day evaporates.
“With an uncanny understanding of the pleasures and pains of an ordinary school day, Rosemary Wells has created a tender, irresistible story, true to the heart of childhood.”

This is a sweet picture book with cute illustrations that deals with a sometimes hard subject of rejection and bullying. It helps that all the animals are cute and the teasing isn’t too harsh, but it hurts Yoko all the same. Thankfully the school teacher works things out and the students are all friends again at the end of the book. Yoko is a cautionary tale of not liking someone and being mean to them just because they’re different and eat different things. We’re all the same under our skin and/or fur and it’s a good lesson to learn while your kittens are still young.

The book has large, black print on white background so early readers will be able to read it and learn about how to make sushi! Hmmm, reading this book has made me hungry for some tuna and shrimp!!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because the illustrations are cute and the lesson is taught gently.





BIG CAT, little cat

big cat little cat

BIG CAT, little cat

Elisha Cooper
Roaring Brook Press, 2017

From the dust jacket: “There was a cat who lived alone. Until the day a new cat came … . From award-winning author Elisha Cooper comes a poignant story about friendship, family, and new beginnings.”

From the description on the dust jacket, it would seem this book is rather simple – but it’s not. Well, it is, on the surface. A cat lives alone with his family; they bring home a new kitten; the older (big) cat teaches the younger (little) cat how to be a cat. They have many years together until the older cat goes away – and doesn’t come back. Sad. But … . Can’t say – don’t want to ruin it.

Big Cat, Little Cat is a perfect vehicle for opening a dialog with your kittens about life and death and life. The very simple line drawings pack a punch, the words are few but powerful and the story evokes emotions of both joy and grief. The book is like haiku in that for a true wordsmith it only takes a few words to communicate volumes. Experienced readers will certainly be able to read the book on their own – but read it as a family, instead. It may evoke memories both joyful and sad that need to be spoken aloud so the love may be paid forward.

Rating: 5 of 5 paws because it’s a truly beautiful story that is overflowing with the truth of life.





The Legend of the Golden Snail

the legend of the golden snail

The Legend of the Golden Snail

Graeme Base
Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS, 2010

From the dust jacket, “In Wilbur’s favorite book, legend tells of a magnificent Golden Snail that has been banished to the Ends of the Earth by a Grand Enchanter. Inspired by this amazing story, Wilbur sets out on a daring voyage to claim the Golden Snail as his own. Along the way he encounters strange creatures and a series of challenges – rough seas, pirates, the Maze of Madness and the Dreadful Doldrums. Finally, Wilbur reaches the Ends of the Earth, but what he finds there is not quite as he imagined …”

If you are familiar with Graeme Base’s picture books, then you will know his illustrations are jam-packed with detail, fanciful creatures, and a hidden image on every page the reader is challenged to find. This book is no exception. The copy I read was oversized, beautifully illustrated (as all Base’s works are) and fun. Wilbur goes on a grand adventure and learns a lesson in kindness along the way. He learns that the good things you do out of kindness – things that no one else will see – have a good way of coming back to you. The book will be easy to read for middle – late readers, although early readers will love it being read to them! The print is a large medium size that is black on white background which also makes it easy to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws because in addition to everything mentioned above, Wilbur’s traveling companion is an orange tabby like Toby!!!