Cat’s Meow

Banish the dog days of summer with these titles by two British author-illustrators that are just puurr-fect for summer road trips, bedtime, and anytime.

“Matilda’s Cat,” by Emily Gravett; Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 3-5. (June 2014)

Matilda’s cat doesn’t like tea parties, ghost stories, climbing trees, or drawing. Find out what the adorable creature does enjoy in this latest offering from our perennially favorite author and illustrator, Emily Gravett. (Previous titles include Again! and The Odd Egg.) Charming illustrations of an exuberant, cherubic little girl and her faithful feline are rendered in Gravett’s trademark pen and watercolor style.  Children will relish in the playful mischief to be discovered on each page. If you’re not sure which books to pack for summer traveling, do include this lighthearted, lovely ode to unrequited love– it’s a snappy read, and will not lose its charm after being in heavy rotation.

“Naughty Kitty,” by Adam Stower; Orchard Books, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 4-6. (May 2014)

Adam Stower follows up his popular Silly Doggy! with a case of mistaken identity. If somehow you miss the cover image of a skulking tiger, be sure to read the newspaper-styled endpapers which relate the critical backstory of a large cat  missing from the local zoo.

Meanwhile, little Lily desperately wants a dog, but receives a cat  instead. While the girl adores her wide-eyed kitty, she can’t understand how such a small creature manages to make major messes, some right under her nose. Lily blames the silently suffering kitty, while its larger, striped doppelganger runs amok on the property. Stower portrays all the characters – including the escaped predator – with wide eyes and humorous facial expressions, all done in watercolors.  Tongue in cheek humor and a happy ending will keep the whole family returning to   this book.

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