Two Kid-Friendly Cat Books That Will Fly Off the Shelves

BookendsCindy: If your library is still organized by the Dewey Decimal System like my middle-school libraries, your 636 section is one of the most rifled sections of the nonfiction. I am always looking for attractive, informative, kid-friendly pet books for all species to supplement the breed guidebooks and training manuals. We have a few on cats to share today–you can’t spend all of your time watching cat videos on Facebook, after all.

Itty BittyThe Itty Bitty Kitty Committee (2014) by Laurie Cinotto is a spin-off from her popular blog of the same name. Even if you are already following her on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook, you’ll want to have this book in your pet section. Cinotto is a self-described “kitten wrangler.” She fosters young kittens that are left at crowded animal shelters. That duty gives her lots of kitty experience and a raft of adorable kitty photos that are liberally shared in this paperback book. Along with cute itty bitty kitties, she shares advice for young pet owners: supplies to have before bringing home a kitten, how to play with your kitten, how kittens communicate, how to take better kitten pictures, and how to kitten-proof your house, among other topics. I love the craft directions for a cardboard playhouse, paper-towel-tube play pyramids, and no-sew fleece kitty beds. This will be a welcome addition to kitty collections, and the photo-rich book will be fun browsing even for children who don’t yet have a pet. And, Lynn, you need to read the section about how to keep your kittens out of trouble! 😉

speak catLynn: Cindy is SO right about the 636’s! There are NEVER enough books there to assuage kid demand so new ones are always appreciated. National Geographic understands the attraction animals  have for kids—their books are always popular and a new title, How to Speak Cat: a Guide to Decoding Cat Language (2015) by Aline Newman and Gary Weitzman, D.V.M. is going to fly off shelves everywhere. Dr. Weitzman is president of the San Diego Humane Society, where they have an orphaned-kitten rescue program, and he clearly understands cats!

The fabulous pictures of cats being cats
will push the demand sky-high.

The book is divided into several sections examining specific types of cat communication: Body Talk, Read My Face, Telling Tails, Cat Chat, Trouble Talk, and Feline Feelings. Each communication behavior is explained and accompanied by a full-page photograph that clearly illustrates the behavior. Under Telling Tails, for example, behaviors include Thrashing Tail, Fluffed Out Tail, Straight-Up Tail and more. Under Trouble Talk, the authors discuss biting, spraying, scratching furniture, bullying and refusing to use the litter box with tips on what the cats are telling us by these actions and tips on how to overcome the behaviors. At the end of each chapter, a “Kitty Case Scenario” is presented. Readers are asked what the cat is saying, why and how the situation was resolved. Interesting facts are scattered throughout along with helpful practical training tips. Inviting, chatty, and informative, this is a book that kids are going to love. Not only is the information interesting but the fabulous pictures of cats being cats will push the demand sky-high. I’ve had the company of cats for most of my life and I really learned a lot!

catsFor you dog-lovers out there, be sure to check out the corresponding title from Newman and Weitzman, How to Speak Dog:  A Guide to Decoding Dog Language (2013). And since nothing online is more popular than cat pictures, here is one of the two who currently rule our house.

Cindy: Cute cats, Lynn. They look very angelic here. I know better.

Lynn: Ha! Yes with these two, appearances are definitely deceiving!



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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