Title: Cat Prowling
Author: Maria Gianferrari
Illustrator: Bagram Ibatoulline
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press, 2022
Format/Genre: narrative nonfiction
Themes: bobcats, yearling, territory
Beyond your house,
behind tall pines,
under paling stars
Mother Bobcat wakes.
from last year’s litter,
stretches and yawns.
A young bobcat leaves tracks in the snow as he sets out to find a home range of his own. Amidst the harsh winds and icy chill of winter, Yearling travels between the deep wilderness and suburbia, hunting for prey as he goes. He tracks hare, squirrel, pheasant…
But each time, he is foiled by the resident predator. Will Yearling find a territory to call his own? (publisher)
Why I like this book:
This is a stunning companion to Coyote Moon and Hawk Rising, which I have already reviewed on Miss Marple’s Musings. If you or your children avid naturalists like me, you will want to read this one.
This is a beautiful, educational and lyrical nonfiction picture book about a young yearling bobcat’s search for a new home range. The author made many skilful choices in creating this book. Firstly to follow a yearling cat with the very clear goal of finding its own territory. Secondly, using poetic but not rhyming stanzas. Thirdly, using the second person POV, inviting readers to join the bobcat on its journey as well as the environment around them. The pursuit of a place to live is full of challenge as the yearling stalks prey only to be chased away time and time again by another predator whose territory they has strayed into. This makes for tense and exciting reading.
The illustrations are full of action and as someone who lives with Coyote’s nearby whose yearlings also need to find their own territory, I loved how the bobcat yearling’s territory ends up near a human family. Bobcats are one of several species I still want to see in the wild here in the US.
As with her previous texts, Gianferrari includes lots of great facts, further reading and website recommendations in the backmatter.
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/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.