I recently glanced through a new book that I instantly fell in love with: “This Is NOT a Cat!” by David LaRochelle. LaRochelle has written 15 different titles for young children (and several others for young adults), including “Moo,” “It’s a Tiger” and “The End.” His newest title is a great story with marvelous illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka. However, the best thing about the book is that LaRochelle uses only the five words from the title for the text. Very creative if you ask me.
The story is about three mice at mouse school, learning what is dangerous (cats) and what is not (cheese, bunnies, chickens, etc). But what lesson ever follows the plan? Even after reading it several times, I still find new surprises in the illustrations.This book would be wonderful to share with a group or one-on-one. (My dog was a big fan.) It is especially good for little ones who like to repeat phrases or kiddos who are starting to recognize sight words.
“Caramba looked like any other cat. He had soft fur and a long, stripy tail. He ate fish. He purred. He went for long walks. But Caramba was different from other cats. He couldn’t fly.”
So begins the tale of Caramba, the cat who couldn’t fly. Caramba does want to fly, and he tries several times without success. In truth, Caramba is just different from all the other cats. Author Marie-Louis Gay has created an endearing character, with which we can all sympathize. We have all felt different at some point or been unable to do what seems easy to everyone else. Yet once Caramba accepts his differences and discovers his own personal talents, he is able to let go of his anxieties and even encourages his friend to try new things. If you have a little one worried about his or her own differences, check out this beautifully illustrated story.
When you look at the cracks in the sidewalk and see Pete the Cat, you know he’s a fixture in your life. Do you see him? I did!
If you haven’t heard of Pete the Cat yet, it’s time to get on board. I bet your preschoolers are in the know. Their constant requests for “those funny cat books” are my big clue. Several of Eric Litwin’s books featuring this cool cat have been hanging out on the bestseller list for months and for good reasons. They:
- Feature catchy repetitive phrases.
- Zero in on kids’ interests. (Who doesn’t love new shoes?)
- Provide opportunities to show off new skills like color knowledge.
- Model a healthy attitude about dealing with change. When life throws Pete a curve ball, does he cry? Goodness no. He finds a way to appreciate what he has. Continue reading