3 Early Readers for Cat Lovers | Transitional Spotlight

These three titles are purrfect for beginning readers who enjoy all things feline.


Manaresi, Laura. Hot Cat, Cool Catillus. by Roberta Angaramo. 32p. (I Like to Read). Holiday House. Nov. 2023. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780823454938.
PreS-Gr 3–A cute story of friendship between two characters who are not alike. Kip and Kit are two cats who are said to be complete opposites. “Kip likes to run. Kit likes to sit.” “Kip is brave. Kit is careful.” One day, Kip eats too much cake and gets a cramp while swimming. Kit overcomes her careful nature and jumps in to save her best friend. The joyful and colorful illustrations are eye-catching while providing context clues to newly independent readers. This book could be used to talk about accepting people for who they are. While these two friends do have different interests and contrasting personalities, this is not a book about opposites as it is marketed and as the title suggests. “Kip likes cake. Kit likes fish.” “Kip likes mice. Kit likes horses.” The likes of these two friends are different but are not quite opposites. Overall, the book is focused on the topic of friendship; it slightly misses the mark on an opposites book, but it is a well-written simple read for new readers. VERDICT A good secondary purchase for libraries.–Kirsten Caldwell

Morris, J.E. Flubby Does Not Like Snow. illus. by author. 32p. (Flubby). Penguin Workshop. Oct. 2023. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780593523391; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780593523384.
K-Gr 2–Kami, a young girl with brown skin, cannot wait to go outside in the snow and play with Flubby, her cat. Flubby is not so sure about the snow. Kami and Flubby head outside, and while Kami is ready for fun, the cat goes back inside. Kami then helps Flubby get ready for a snowy day by giving him boots, which keep his feet warm. But then Flubby’s back is cold. This continues for a few pages: the cat keeps getting cold until he is dressed appropriately for the big snow day. Then, Flubby does not want to go back inside—he wants to play! Kami and Flubby build snow kittens and enjoy the weather. They finish the day back inside with some hot cocoa by the fireplace. The simple structure of a sentence or so on each page is great for emerging readers. The illustrations are charming, with their cartoon outlines, facial expressions, and layout. A previous book in the “Flubby” series, Flubby Is Not a Good Pet!, was a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book. VERDICT A great addition for all libraries looking for modern emergent reader books.–Katie Llera

Slier, Debby. Cat and Miceillus. by Pat Schories. 32p. Star Bright. Oct. 2023. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781595729736; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781595729743.
PreS-K–A supposedly napping cat intercepts a trio of nearly identical mice on their way to the kitchen and makes off with one of them. When a dog surprises the cat, all three mice make a clean getaway. Two- to three-word sentences starring verbs with a long “e” sound offer a plot backbone, while soft watercolors depict the specifics. Close readers will spot details in the background that offer clues about what’s to come, such as a dog’s paw peeking out from behind the corner. VERDICT One in a small category of very beginning reader texts that manages to communicate an interesting plot in fewer than 20 unique words.–Rachel Owens

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