Thursday, February 21, 2008

Library Time

We seem to be branching out into bigger kid books, at least this week. It's fun!

The Fire Cat
by Esther Averill
Pickles the cat learns to do big things, and takes up residence in a firehouse. That's the short version. This is the longest book we've ever checked out, and it's also right up there at the top as far as numbers of reads. It's no surprise that Elise has memorized practically every word, but I'm beginning to think I could recite it in my sleep as well. Oh Pickles, you clever kitty you. Oh, and this book has also got Elise thinking about punctuation. Exclamation point.

Get Well, Good Knight
by Shelley Moore Thomas, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas
A very good knight works hard to help three little dragons feel better when they have a cold. On the way, he discovers that wizards aren't necessarily the best at comfort food. There are three Good Knight stories, and they're all very well done. Great stories, great use of language. The three little dragons are fantastically cute, too.

Time to See the Doctor
by Heather Maisner, illustrated by Kristina Stephenson
We've written about another in this series previously. In this one, the boy gets an ear infection and his big sister helps make the trip to the doctor less scary. I love this author, but more importantly Elise loves her. There is just the right amount of scariness in the story, and just the right sort of resolution, at least for the 4 year old mind. We still highly recommend this "First-time Stories" series.

Polo: The Runaway Book
by RĂ©gis Faller
How do you feel about combining books and adventures? We heartily approve. Polo is a picture book in the finest sense. All illustrated, with very few words. Elise was a little suspicious at first since the story never gets told the same way twice. The illustrations are fantastic, and the story is very entertaining no matter who narrates. Apparently, this is the second book featuring this character, and we'll be looking for the original this week. Great for storytelling and the imagination.

First the Egg
by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
This is a lovely take on the age-old chicken and egg question. With pictures of eggs, chicks, chickens, developing tadpoles, frogs etc., this is a very engaging look at growing and changing. Simple words and simple (and beautiful!) illustrations make this fun for Elise to read to her stuffed animals. An extra bonus is the cut-outs in the pages that bridge the space between the young and old.

What Will Fat Cat Sit On?
by Jan Thomas
It may not be apparent from our book selections, but Elise is into cats. In this book, a cat looks for a place to sit and various other animals don't want to be squished. It's silly. We like silly.

Pizza Kittens
by Charlotte Voake
We only have one kid here at our house, but even so we very clearly recognize the three kittens in this book. And their suppertime shenanigans. Do we ever. Family meals can be tricky. Sometimes compromise is necessary.

Does anyone out there have any favorite books featuring cats that you'd like to recommend? Write in your suggestions before 10am tomorrow and we'll look for 'em!


Anonymous said...

Skippyjon Jones (by Judy Schachner) is a favourite at our school -- there are now several sequels, but it's a story about a kitty with a very active imagination.

There's some multicultural exposure, too, as he becomes Skipito the Bandito, and says "Buenos noches, mis amigos" when it's time for bed.


Anonymous said...

Ah, but so many people think that Skippyjon Jones--or at least the books--are a little heavy on the Hispanic stererotypes. The kids at my school love them and were thrilled when we were able to borrow a Skippyjon suit for a day. I got tired of reading the sort of goofy Spanish after awhile. I am actually quite torn by these books because they are clever in so many ways, but they are also a bit troubling. I don't think of them as multicultural since the Mexican chihuahuas are pretty narrowly defined. I don't think I would buy these books for a child and I doubt that I will ever read them for library times. I won't pull them from the shelves, thouh.

Anonymous said...

I know that this is late for your library excursion, but here is a much too long list of some of my favorite cat picture books.
Here Comes the Cat = Suida Idet Kat by Frank Asch is a collaboration between an American and a Russian to create an almost wordless book. Mice on each page call out "Here comes the cat" which is translated into the Russian (Suida idet kat). Soon a great cat shadow appears over the town. There is a surprise twist ending so all live happily ever after. The illustrations are bright and friendly.

So What's it Like to be a Cat? by Karla Kuskin is an interview with a cat.

Meow Ruff by Joyce Sidman is in concrete poem form so offers a lot more than the simple tale. Read every aspect of the pictures.

Houndsley and Catina is a series by James Howe (of Bunnicula fame). They are easy readers that border on the too sappy but redeem themselves with the telling.

Slinky Malinky books by Lynley Dodd are the feline equivalent to your already beloved Hairy McClary series.

Millions of Cats by Wanda G'ag is somewhat creepy when you think about it but I will also love it from whatever it meant in my youth.

Koko's Kitten by Francine Patterson is about the gorilla who learned sign language and adopted a tiny kitten. Wonderful phots.

Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos is not my favorite but your grandfather identified with him. You will be able to see why.

Kat Kong by Dav Pilkey will appeal to you more than to Elise. It is a retelling of King Kong with photos of brave mice who take science astray by capturing a large cat. Full of puns that will go right over the head of Elise for the most part but which you will love and probably explain to her so she will quote them at appropriate times for years to come.

Cat and Mouse by Tamasz Bogacki is a sweet story will lovely illustrations about a young cat and mouse who meet on neutral territory and make friends.

Missing by Jonathan Langley is about a little girl who misses connections with her cat when she has a day off from school. The cat and the girl both look long and hard for the other until she the wonderful reunion. The little girl is somewhat reminiscent of Elise.

Crispin the Terible by Bob Morris is a cat imagining all the things he could be if only her were allowed to be his real cat self.

The Grannyman by Judith Schachner (yup, same as Skippyjon Jones) is a sweet story of getting a kitten to help make a on old cat young.



Anonymous said...

All I know is that kids love it, and my Spanish-speaking friends think that it's as cute as my English-speaking friends do. My son and his friends loved it, and our heavily Spanish-speaking community hasn't ever said a word about it publicly.