Do You Have a Cat? by Eileen Spinelli (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers; $16.00; 32 pages)
“A cat who likes to caterwaul is better than no cat at all!”
There’s an old saying that dogs and their owners begin to look like each other. Well, I may be just a kitten but even I know that’s not true just for dogs… And this book, Do You Have a Cat?, proves me to be right. This book shows us – and especially the young humans in the reading audience – that 14 very famous people owned felines (that’s a cat, to you). And, guess what? These famous people looked just like their cats and vice-versa!
If you don’t believe me, just look at the swell drawings in this book. You’ll see that everyone from Cleopatra to Queen Victoria and Charles Lindbergh and Albert Schweitzer and President Calvin Coolidge owned very special cats, all of whom just happened to be the spitting-image of their home owners! And you’ll learn some very cool stuff, too, like the fact that President Coolidge went on the radio to tell the folks when his cat was lost. Luckily, for Cal, Tiger was soon found and returned to the White House!
So, I’m a young cat but I know good books. This one’s as good as a bowl of half-and-half!
Sasha (the kitten) Arellano
A review copy was provided by the publisher. Geraldo Valerio is the illustrator of this children’s book, recommended for ages 4 through 8.
Kitten’s Autumn by Eugenie Fernandes (Kids Can Press; 22 pages; $14.95)
Leaves tumble, Kitten mews. Porcupine snacks, Chipmunk chews. Hummingbird sips, Caterpillar munches. Rabbit nibbles, Squirrel crunches. Fish gulps, Bear licks. Deer grazes, Raccoon picks. Beaver chomps, Frog zaps. Skunk slurps, Turtle snaps. Supper waits, Fireside greets. Door opens, Kitten eats.
This would make a perfect first reader for just about any child. In Kitten’s Autumn, we accompany a Calico kitten on her very first trip through nature’s wonders during the season known as Autumn. She discovers other animals, both friendly and fearsome, all of whom are feasting on whatever it is they eat. This kitten observes them all before returning to her home for warmth and a good meal.
Each double page is meant to illustrate a single sentence in a poem, and children will come to absorb the lesson that there’s a difference between being outside with nature and being inside one’s own home-sweet-home. The text and illustrations by Eugenie Fernandes (author of Kitten’s Spring) are both cute and charming. This one’s a winner, by all accounts – especially for curious cats and kids!
This review was written by Joseph Arellano. Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review. This book is recommended for children between the ages of 4 and 8.