FICTION

Here Comes Teacher Cat

illus. by Claudia Rueda. 80p. (Here Comes the Cat). Dial. Aug. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399539053.
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PreS-Gr 1—Cat is back for his first non-holiday adventure, this time as a substitute teacher. Ms. Melba has to go to the doctor, so Cat is called upon to lead a classroom of eager preschool kittens. Cat has a few entertaining missteps, but by the time Ms. Melba returns, the whole classroom has enjoyed making music, building, and painting. What Ms. Melba will never know is that music included rocking out on a very loud electric guitar, that Cat showed the kittens how to build a fountain that spouted fish, and that the painting was done on the classroom walls. This fifth installment of series follows the same conventions of the previous titles. The unseen narrator prompts and prods the feline hero along, with many a comment and question from Cat communicated through wordless signs on sticks. Readers are encouraged to interact with the text, just as the narrator does. Soft primary colors and light shading, created with ink and color pencil on white paper, complement the amusing facial expressions of the reluctant protagonist. Plenty of white space, clear layouts, and well-placed, large text make this a great book for a group storytime.
VERDICT Whether new to this series or a seasoned fan, this amusing read-aloud has much to offer the younger back-to-school crowd.

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