Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cat Napped! by Leeza Hernandez

I was skimming through a giant stack of picture books when this one popped out and thwapped me in the eyes. It's nothing fancy or new, but it's a solid, great book.

The text is extremely simple, just a rhyming couplet split across each spread; "Kitty cat, pretty cat./Living in the city cat." A curious cat accidentally stows away in a truck and is carried off. She escapes, but is hurt and taken to the pound. Luckily, her owner shows up and soon she's back home and safe again.

This is a perfect text for a toddler; bold, rhyming, simple, and with a strong narrative as well as textual rhythm. Small children will be very pleased with the simple progression of the story and satisfied at the happy conclusion.

The illustrations show a plump grey cat with a blue bow on her tail. They're separated into full-page spreads and smaller inset panels and illustrations. They're colorful without being garish and  have a warm, friendly style that will be very accessible to young children and their parents. Even nicer, the cat's owner has dark skin and exuberantly curly hair, the girl who finds the lost cat also has dark, curly hair but lighter skin, while the third person pictured at the shelter has long blond hair. Diversity naturally and realistically portrayed in a fun story about a favorite animal.

Verdict: This is a perfect book for toddlers - and the author has an earlier book called Doggone as well! Highly recommended for your toddlers and their storytimes.

ISBN: 9780399164385; Published 2014 by G. P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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