This is a new chapter in my effort to be a better blogger. I have made a pledge to myself to 1)do regular posts of my art [a.k.a. stop being so timid] 2)support my writer and illustrator colleagues w/posts about them 3)participate more in promoting our field and my craft-not just sit on the sidelines 4) work with a positive attitude
5]lose weight 6]throw out junk food …er…pretend you didn’t see those last two.
Anyway – as I’ve begun my trek into the children’s book writing and illustrating field I have met some lovely, wonderful, creative, inspiring people. One of those delightful writers is Susanna Leonard Hill, a children’s author. She is always encouraging other aspiring writers and has several regular features on her own blog to promote creativity and improve our skills. She even conceived and executed a world tour for one of her book characters. Aside from having a weakness for chocolate Susanna seems practically perfect as a children’s author role model. In fact, one of the things she created was Perfect Picture Book Fridays (PPBF).
PPBF allows participants to recommend and review children’s books. WOW – you mean I now have another legitimate reason to go the library? ( I may need something signed by you, Susanna, to show to my husband.) However, I decided my first PPB recommendation had to come off my own shelf. This book is one of my favorites as well as a favorite re-read for my grandchildren.
Title: That Cat Can’t Stay
Author: Thad Krasnesky
Illustrator: David Parkins
Publisher: New York, Flashlight Press © 2010
Genre: Picture book, fiction
Audience Age: 2-8 years (altho’ this 58 yr old loves it)
Themes/Topics: Cats, Compassion, Family, Tolerance
Opening Sentences: When Mom brought home a stray one day, Dad said, “That creature cannot stay. There’s no use begging. Don’t say please. I don’t like cats. They scratch my knees. And I don’t want to have to shout, so kindly put that cat-thing out.”
Synopsis: This humorous story is told by a little girl whose mother keeps rescuing stray cats, much to the lament of her father. Dad does not like cats because they do everything from making him sneeze and wheeze, to carrying fleas and getting stuck in trees. Yet – cat #1 stays, as well as #2, 3, 4 and…more. Dad’s protests become longer and sillier as he becomes surrounded by cats, until the surprise ending.
Why I like it: That Cat Can’t Stay has a funny, rhyming text with repetition in dad’s angst-filled complaints. The story is great for building reading and listening skills as well as being just plain fun to read . My 2 and 3 year old granddaughters love the story and can finish some of the lines as well as even quote sections. The illustrations are whimsical and detailed even adding to the story as the cats become part of the family photo gallery. Part of the fun we have is spotting all the catly details in the art.
Awards: This book has received about a dozen awards, some of which are
- Smithsonian Notable Books for Children 2010
- Storytelling World Award Honor Title 2011
- Society of School Librarians International Honor Book 2010
Activities/Resources: Flashlight Press offers some cat poetry and acrostic activities on their website http://www.flashlightpress.com/That_Cat_Cant_Stay_Activity_Guide.html
also Illinois School Library Assoc. has a wonderful PDF with discussion questions and crossover curricular activity suggestions http://www.islma.org/pdf/monarch/That%20cat%20can’t%20stay%20web.pdf
Availability: This is readily available in both hard and soft cover.
Enjoy the Read & Blessings on your day,