Fantastic Fiction for Kids – Cats! Part 1

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This week’s contribution to Fantastic Fiction for Kids comes from Vanessa at Silly Eagle Books. I would love to be able to visit Vanessa and her daughter as it sounds like their house is FULL of wonderful books. Just about every post over on Silly Eagle Books has me checking my local library’s catalogue to see if I can get hold of what Vanessa and Juliet have been reading!

sillyeaglebutton2Vanessa’s chosen topic for this week is one that I know many of us will enjoy – CATS! She writes:

We love reading books about cats – somehow we are magnetically drawn to them on the library shelves. Here are a few that we have especially enjoyed reading together.

the_fire_cat_frontcoverThe Fire Cat by Esther Averill: This is a book with chapters! It’s the first one that Juliet was ever able to sit still long enough to hear the entire thing (she’s only 2). Usually, we read shorter books with one to two sentences per page, but for this one, she made an exception. I think it’s because Pickles the cat is so fascinating to her. The story begins by stating that “Pickles was a young cat. His paws were big. And he wished to do big things with them.” As the title suggests, he does go on to do great things with those big paws of his by becoming a fire cat that rescues other cats out of trees! How could she not enjoy it?
the_cats_pajamas_frontcoverThe Cat’s Pajamas by Ida Chittum: This is a book I remember reading as a child. My mom just recently found it in her attic and gave it to us. A little boy makes his cat a pair of red and white pajamas and then loses them. He goes through quite a bit of trouble to get them back, but when he finally does and gives them to his cat, she, like a true feline, turns her nose up at them. In the end, he stuffs the pajamas and makes them into a stuffed kitty.
hondo_and_fabian_frontcoverHondo & Fabian by Peter McCarty: This is the story of a dog and cat who are best friends. The story details a day in their life as they have separate yet parallel adventures. The little girl in the story reminds me so much of Juliet as she chases Fabian (the cat) around the house and uses him as her doll. It’s a great bedtime book.
cat_goes_fiddleifee_frontcoverCat Goes Fiddle-i-fee by Paul Galdone: The cat in this book looks just like a cat we used to have, so it reminds us of her. We also love it because it’s a sing-a-long book and anytime we can sing, it’s a good thing. The illustrations are bright and fun and Juliet loves to sing along with me.
Ophelia - one of Vanessa's much loved cats!
Ophelia - one of Vanessa's much loved cats!
Other cat books that Vanessa and Juliet love include:

  • The Brave Firemen and the Firehouse Cat by Bianca Bradbury
  • Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton
  • Milton by Hayde Ardalan
  • Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
  • Slinky Malinky by Lynley Dodd
  • My Cats Nick and Nora by Isabelle Harper
  • Now what about some Cat music?

    Here at Playing by the book we love Everybody wants to be a cat from the film The Aristocats, Scat Cat by Jetta and the Jellybeans, Bat Cat by Charlie and Lola and although it’s not really about cats I can’t resist including Cool for cats by Squeeze (I think I fell in love with this as a kid because the single we had of this was bright pink and I thought that was very cool!)

    And some Cat craftiness?

  • I’ve made up some cat softies like this one from Wise Craft for J for Christmas, using photos my mum’s cat, my mum-in-law’s cat, and one of the cat’s we had as kids – if I hadn’t already made them they would be easy enough for kids to help make – the fixing of the printed image in water and then stuffing the toy would certainly appeal to M.
  • If we had a cat I would definitely want us to make this adorable chaise longue for the cat by Evilmadscientist (found via WhipUp).
  • Then there’s this slightly spooky but fun looking cat handprint from Busy Bee Kids Crafts.
  • Here are some instructions for usinga paper plate to make a cat face – the result could easily be adapted to make a mask.
  • You could also adapt this cat wreath pattern for Christmas – a lovely idea from DLTK’s Crafts for Kids.
  • Thanks again to Vanessa from Silly Eagle Books for this great list, full of books which are new to me even though we’ve got LOTS of books about cats here – I’m off to the library now to see which of her books I can pick up. Why don’t you head over to Silly Eagle Books and have a look around – I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll enjoy! And in case you want more great cat books, do be sure to check back in next week when we will have Cats! Part 2 – from Ashley, a regular and cherished reader of Playing by the book ๐Ÿ™‚

    11 Responses

    1. Lynn

      How fun! My son loves cat books too. In fact, I’m going to post a review of a Christmas book with a cat in it any day now (I’m procrastinating as we speak). Another really cute one we got from our relatives in New Zealand is My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes.

    2. Kristine

      Hondo and Fabian sounds intriguing.
      Our favourite cat book would have to be Lynley Dodd’s “Scattercat”. I love her illustrations she captures animal behaviour so perfectly. We’ve also brought a copy of “Slinky Malinky’s Christmas Crackers” for this years Christmas book but that will come out as an advent present once we get past the big birthday.
      Lately my daughter has also been enjoying “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cat” Another great character and so cat like!
      The cat softies are cute and so easy. You could use the same idea to make book characters to accompany a favourite story.

    3. janelle

      I remember reading “The Fire Cat” as a child. Think ours was a weekly reader edition. Two cat books we own and like are “There are cats in this book” and “The Cat in the Hat.” We haven’t read it yet but hope to check out “Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library!” book from the library soon.

    4. Ashley

      These are all new to me and will definitely be looking out for them to add to our cat collection. What fun to make your cat a pair of pyjamas!
      My little guy loves any sing along books so Cat goes Fiddle i fee would be right up his street. Thanks for all these.

    5. Zoe

      Lots of great suggestions here! We too love My cat likes to hide in boxes and There are cats in this book. However, the cat book that is J’s favourite is one I really don’t like myself! – Cats Sleep Anywhere
      by Eleanor Farjeon illustrated by Anne Mortimer – I find the illustrations too twee, but for some reason J ADORES them… we even have this book in both Dutch and English!

    6. Susan Maguire

      Another funny one is “Cookies Week”. It is about the adventures of Cookie the cat who gets into trouble each day of the week at his house. It is also good for predictng what will happen on the next day and sharing and talking about each pages illustrations. Another plus is sequencing the days of the week. What a fun way to learn them. Follow up with an activity about what happens on the days of the week at your house.

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