Pounce-worthy feline books

Posted on June 13, 2018 at 6:00 am

by Dana Mannino

Need a great book for a cat lover? You might naturally gravitate towards heartwarming nonfiction works like Dewey and Strays, or others that include fictional cats. But have you considered a picture book?

The cat lover in your life may have aged out of the target demographic for picture books years ago, but hear me out!

Like cats, picture books are creatures of few words and deep souls. The art form lends itself to capturing the essence of a cat.

Earlier this week I ran across Tiptop Cat by Roger Mader at the library. It is a beautifully illustrated story about a tuxedo cat addicted to balconies who discovers he can’t fly. I grabbed the book and reached for my library card.

Then I made a tactical error. Before checking the book out to myself, I slid the book across the desk of my colleague who is a business librarian and said, “This one’s good.”

You see, she has a companion tuxedo cat. She disappeared behind the book, reading, and a few chuckles later, I knew she was enjoying it as much as I did. Before I even knew what was happening, she had checked the book out to herself and tucked it into her book bag! And this was my tactical error. I should have checked the book out before sharing it. Now, I would have to wait my turn to get ahold of it.

Clearly a well-made cat picture book is irresistible.

Here are even more picture books that capture felinity in all its glory. Perhaps you and a cat lover you know will find a new favorite.

Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore

Sid has six houses, six personas, and, you guessed it, six dinners. Since the neighbors do not talk to one another other, Sid’s tummy is full and no one is the wiser. But can Sid maintain his masquerade forever?

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner

Mr Wuffles’ name invokes a cuddly companion. But through the eyes of some tiny extraterrestrial visitors, we see him as he truly is—a lethal predator. Joining forces with household insects, the aliens must use cunning and teamwork to defeat their foe.

Rupert Can Dance by Jules Feiffer

Rupert has a secret. “Cats love secrets,” author Jules Feiffer reminds us. When Rupert’s owner discovers Rupert’s late night antics, can Rupert recover his lost dignity and return to the activity he loves?

Won Ton and Won Ton and Chopstick by Lee Wardlaw

Lee Wardlaw skillfully captures the internal dialog of a cat. I am now convinced that all felines think in Haiku, as Won Ton does. In the first book, Won Ton chronicles his adoption. In the sequel, he describes his gradual acclimation to the family’s new puppy, Chopstick. Both are worth the read!

I am the Dog, I am the Cat by Donald Hall

Donald Hall explores the classic cat-dog dichotomy in short poems from each animal’s point of view. The text—insightful and endearing—is perfectly paired with lush watercolor illustrations. If you know any cat lovers who live in a cat and dog household, this is the book for them.

Mimi’s Dada Catifesto by Shelley Jackson

Mimi is a stray, and an artist. To Mimi, a thoughtfully placed hairball is art, her midnight caterwauling is a sound poem, and the shoes her neighbors throw at her are ample payment. But can Mimi convey the depths of her soul to the neighborhood artist, Mr. Dada, and win herself a place in his household? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Have a favorite book about cats that you don’t see here? Let all cat lovers know in the comments.

Dana Mannino

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