Saturday, January 17, 2009
REVIEW: There Are Cats in This Book
Schwarz, V. (2008). There Are Cats in This Book. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.
After having read There Are Cats in This Book, I can swear that there are, in fact, cats in this book. Fun, high maintenance cats. This picturebook does an excellent job of engaging young readers from end page to end page. It includes multiple direct orders to its readers and many tabs to flip. I do foresee one potentially disastrous page: At one point the cats manage to get drenched. Afterwards, the reader is told to “blow on the page…” to dry them. I imagine that when many young readers attempt to make a gentle breeze may accidentally result in the creation of a spit storm drenching the page, which could be a problem if the book is a classroom copy.
This story is a fun and cute read that presupposes that its reader will be fond of cats (or will become fond of the cats as they read). But it does manage to create tension and (hopefully) enthusiasm as the child flips through the pages.
Activities to do with the book:
This is probably best as a one-on-one read. It’s good for working on fine motor skills (flipping the many tabs, turning the pages themselves) and noticing cause and effect with the cats’ actions.
This book could be used to help prepare a child for sleep.
Also, if a reader is familiar with cats, they could create their own ideas or illustrations for other things that a cat might do. Or the general structure of the book could be adopted by a parent or teacher to accommodate another animal with the child or class creating more adventures.
“The cats aren’t on this page.”
“Turn the page! What are you waiting for?”