Review: Cat the Cat, Who is THAT? by Mo Willems
Cat the Cat, Who is THAT?
By Mo Willems
Balzer + Bray
Mo Willems appears to be incapable of creating a book that doesnâ€™t delight readers. After slaying read-alouds with a string of picture book hits, Willems branched out to easy readers in 2007 with the Elephant and Piggie series, the results of which were nothing less than witty, modern, and engaging. Now Mo has set his sights on even younger readers in his new series, Cat the Cat. Kids will be pleased.
Cat, as the title suggests, is a cat. After brief introductions, each two-page spread finds Cat running into a new friend. Things are going great until she encounters an unfamiliar face. A rather large, imposing face. Cat decides that rather than running for the hills, she’ll make another friend.
The illustrations are full of Technicolor vibrancy. Willems is known for his ability to add personality to every character, using a minimum of strokes, while maintaining a child-like vibe that kids can relate to. With Cat the Cat, he’s true to form
Is it just me, or is there is a certain cheekiness on display here? Itâ€™s like Willems decided to dive head first into the absurd (â€œThe cat will be named Cat! The fish will be named Fish!â€) and turn it into something more than that.
A charming start to a series that the youngest of readers (and pre-readers) will want to get into.
Now, in a 100 Scope Notes first, my wife would like to share a few words about this book. Let’s call it…
My first exposure to Cat the Cat was hearing my husband read it aloud to our infant daughter.Â Cute, right?Â Then I peered around the corner and saw the cover… I couldn’t help but be reminded of this silly magazine ad for kitty litter.Â Maybe the next book in the series can be Cat the Cat Gets Potty Trained! Hopefully Willems writes this by the time our daughter can learn from it!
Review copy provided by publisher
Also reviewed by Provo City Library.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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