Picture Books: Cats!

Picture Books: Cats!

I’m always slightly jealous when I read about moms who put together themed baskets for their preschoolers. You know the ones that are all nicely coordinated with the seasons or a letter of the alphabet. Or both.

Yeah I’m so not there yet. If ever.

And yet on our last trip to the library we somehow ended up with five books with cats in them. And the time before that we got a bunch of books about big trucks and construction equipment. So maybe between us, Bella and I are pursuing themed reading after all. A sort of unplanned unit study of sorts.

The construction thing happened because, well all the big yellow backhoes and bulldozers and dump trucks that were working on our street. The girls were fascinated. And I’ve got to admit so was I. I thought it would be fun to find some books so I could tell Bella the proper names for everything. So we weren’t just using the generic “machines”—or as Sophie says, “chines”. And so I found the shelf in the library and pulled out just about everything they had. And Bella found a few favorites and we read them and read them and read them. Now she knows a power shovel from a fork lift. I think.

But the cat books were a bit more of a happy accident. I think I pulled most of them. At least one was Bella’s choice. But it was she who started referring to them as cat books a couple of days after we’d brought them home. And she’s pretty much ignoring the ones that aren’t cat books. Which is ok, because we really got too many books.

So trying to get organized enough to plan themes, not so much. Letting serendipity do it for me… I can live with that.

Here are our two favorites of the bunch of cat books:

Dick Whittington and His Cat by Marcia Brown.

This one caught my eye because it was a Caldecott Honor book. I’ve heard of Dick Whittington before but didn’t actually know the story. Beautifully illustrated with linoleum cuts. Bella has asked for this one several times.

Bella’s favorite from this trip is The Good-Night Kiss by Jim Aylesworth illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop. It begins with a frog under a lily pad who sees a raccoon who sees a deer who sees an owl… and ends with a moth on a windowpane who sees a child who is listening to a book who receives a good-night kiss from a person who loves the child.

A peaceful book, with a wonderful pacing, calm beautiful pictures with plenty of detail to entertain the eye but not busy. A wonderful choice to leave for the last of the night, ending with Bella’s good-night kiss.

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