May 28, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs: Picture Books for Storytime | JLG’s Booktalks to Go

It’s easy to hold your audience captive when you find a winning combination. Kids love animals, so sharing picture books about dogs and cats is a storytime bonus. The following titles chosen by the editors at Junior Library Guild are sure to please your listeners—whether they have a pet or not.

its only stanleyAGEE, Jon. It’s Only Stanley. illus. by author. 32p. Dial. 2015. ISBN 9780803739079. JLG Category : E : Easy Reading (Grades 1-3). LiveBinder Resources

When Wilma heard a spooky sound, she sat straight up in bed. “That’s very odd,” said Walter. “I don’t recognize the tune.” Then Stanley howled back. He may only be the dog, but Stanley has quite the plan for that strange sound in the night.

William2HANCOCKS, Helen. William & the Missing Masterpiece. illus. by author. 32p. Templar. 2015. ISBN 9780763675967. JLG Category: ME : Mystery/Adventure Elementary (Grades 2-6). LiveBinder Resources

It’s National Cheese Week and the masterpiece “Mona Cheesa” is missing. William, the international cat of mystery, is hired to solve the crime. Arriving in Paris, the cat detective unravels the clues—a small hole, a piece of red string, and a costume shop.

  • Follow Hancocks on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Read her blog, and learn more about her work.
  • Listen to an audio interview, “It’s the Fuzz!: Cat Detective Swipes a Claw at Crime” at NPR.
  • Compare the illustrator’s “Mona Cheesa” with the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.
  • Teach the lesson at Wonderopolis, “Who was Mona Lisa?,” where you’ll find informational text, vocabulary, and a quiz.

How to Catch a MouseLEATHERS, Philippa. How to Catch a Mouse. illus. by author. 40p. Candlewick. 2015. ISBN 9780763669126. JLG Category: PK : Pre-Kindergarten (Grades PreS-PreK). LiveBinder Resources

Clemmie the Cat is an expert mouser. Why, she’s never even seen a mouse in her house. Little does she know—her unseen mouse is a disguise expert. How long can he keep up his tricks before the jig is up?

Rodeo Red2PERKINS, Maripat. Rodeo Red. illus. by Molly Idle. 32p. Peachtree. 2015. ISBN 9781561458165. JLG Category: K : Kindergarten (Grades PreK-K). LiveBinder Resources

Rodeo Red and her best friend, a stuffed hound dog named Rusty, get along just fine until Sideswiping Slim arrives. Red ignores his invasion into her territory until the day she catches him napping with Rusty. She has to get Rusty back, but in this tale of new sibling woes, that’s going to take some skillful bargaining.

Here Comes the Tooth Fairy CatUNDERWOOD
, Deborah. Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat. illus. Claudia Rueda. 96p. Dial. 2015. ISBN 9780525427742. JLG Category: P : Primary (Grades K-1). LiveBinder Resources

When Cat loses a tooth, a coin is left behind. Instead of being excited, he is sad; he wanted to meet the Tooth Fairy. Cat is in for a surprise when he gets a deal in the mail. If he and his new helper are successful, he may be able to meet the Tooth Fairy after all.

Glamourpuss2WEEKS, Sarah. Glamourpuss. illus. by David Small. 40p. Scholastic. 2015. ISBN 9780545609548. JLG Category: E+ : Easy Reading (Grades 1-3) . LiveBinder Resources

Glamourpuss loves nothing more than being the center of attention. Imagine her horror when a dog named Bluebelle and her tacky wardrobe steal the show. The fancy feline soon begins to worry that she’s not as charming as she thought.

Additional Resources

The resources for the above titles have been organized in JLG Booktalks to Go: Spring 2015 LiveBinder. Titles are sorted by interest level, PreK-3, 3-6, 5-8, and YA. All websites are posted within each LiveBinder, along with the accompanying booktalk. As I write more columns, more books and their resources are added. Everything you need to teach or share brand new, hot-off-the-press books is now all in one place. Booktalks and resources are also included on JLG’s BTG Pinterest board.

For library resources, tips, and ideas, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.

Junior Library Guild (JLG) is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at (NOTE: JLG is owned by Media Source, Inc., SLJ’s parent company.)


Deborah B. Ford About Deborah B. Ford

Deborah is the Director of Library Outreach for Junior Library Guild. She is an award-winning teacher librarian with almost 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools.



  1. Deborah B Ford says:

    Just released! New Event Kit from Peachtree Publishers for Rodeo Red.