Title: Here Comes Santa Cat
Written by: Deborah Underwood
Illustrated by: Claudia Rueda
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers, Oct 21st, 2014
Suitable for ages: 3-7
Themes: cats, being nice, Christmas, Santa
Fiction, small format, 80 pages
Hey, Santa! Have you seen Cat?
Christmas is approaching rapidly and Cat knows he’s unlikely to make Santa’s ‘nice’ list because he hasn’t always been, well, you know, nice! He comes up with a plan to dress up as Santa and give himself a present. Well that doesn’t quite go to plan and Cat might actually have to resort to being nice, if there’s enough time before Santa arrives. Maybe Cat has more ‘nice’ in him than he or anyone else realized? But even when Cat tries, (caroling, tree-decorating), CATastrophes always seem to occur. Will Cat get a Christmas present this year?
Why I like this Book:
Cat is such a cat! You know, selfish but cute and able to be kind and charming when necessary. This Cat is also just like some kids (and maybe adults) I know! The text is actually a series of questions and comments by Cat’s invisible owner addressed to Cat, who responds with expressions, signs, gestures… this is a very funny and creative way to write the story (as it is also in the prequel, EASTER CAT). Because of the small format, which works exceptionally well for this story, the text is always on one blank page and opposite is a simple, extraordinarily expressive and whimsical illustration of Cat in ink and colored pencils. This may sound a little old-fashioned, but I can assure you the conversation and all that happens to Cat alongside his very cute portrayal sustain the drama beautifully. This was a real page-turner for me and I can see it will need copious amounts of port on Christmas day for all the rereads, if you give it as a gift! A big paw up from me!
The story itself will lead into a great discussion about small acts of kindness.
Have the older kids make pie-charts (you’ll have to read the book to get this!!!)
If you missed it, do check out this interview I did with the author, Deborah Underwood and her cat, Bella, two days ago.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
From publisher’s galley in exchange for impartial review