How to Be A Cat

April 2013

Little ones will lap up “How to be a Cat,” a purr-fect choice for April’s Baby Buzz Pick. Washington School District parent educators are happy to suggest this new picture book by Nikki McClure.

Each month the group selects a quality hardcover book for children birth to age 5. A review of the Baby Buzz Pick appears in the third weekend issue of The Missourian. Additional copies of the Baby Buzz Picks are purchased by the parent educators to use in their visits with children.

The following review was written by Nancy Nagel, area literacy advocate.

“Pictures tell the story of the adventures of an older cat and frisky kitten in this beautiful book. Each page spread features black and white cut paper artwork.

“A single word on each spread describes what the two felines are up to…’Clean, pounce, brave, tumble.’ The plot builds as the kitten stalks and chases butterflies further away from the older cat. The kitten finds itself alone, and having to wait. But soon the older cat ‘finds’ the little one, together they ‘scratch’ on a welcoming door, ‘feast’ together and curl up to ‘dream.’

“The illustrations are cut from black paper. Color was added digitally. Spots of sky blue provide a focus for the storyline on each page.

“Toddlers full of energy will enjoy acting out the words in this book. Take turns with your child stretching, pouncing, listening, tumbling and chasing. Point out the expressions on the young kitten’s face and ask your young child how the kitten feels.

“Older children will enjoy identifying some of the large letters used for the words in the book. Help your child trace the letters with her finger and say the letters.

“Make your own book about cats or another favorite animal. Cut out pictures from old magazines, or from an online source, and glue them to sturdy paper. Try to find pictures of the animal in a variety of actions, as in this book. Ask your child what the animal is doing and write the word in bold letters on each page.”

Other Parent Educator favorites this month are “Let’s Go, Hugo!” “Now I’m Big!” by Karen Katz, “Night Light,” by Nicolas Blechman, “Little Acorn Grows,” by Edward Gibbs and “Pinwheel,” by Salina Yoon.