Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cat the Cat, Who is That?

My five year old daughter just finished reading Cat the Cat, Who is That? by Mo Willems. Yes, she should have been in bed earlier, but let's stick to talking about this fabulous book. Willems has created Cat the Cat books for the youngest readers and I can tell you that it is a hit like his other books. My daughter liked the humor (She spotted the Pigeon and giggled. Five year olds can make text to text connections!) and the surprise at the end. As a parent, I liked the theme of friendship. 

You could look at Cat the Cat and think on the surface that it is an easy to read book that is funny and you would be right. But dig deeper and you see a book that helps a beginning reader by using repetition and different end marks (exclamation points, question marks, ellipses) that can be used to teach prosody. Willems also explains in an interview (click on first link above to watch this) that there is a reason for the simple drawings that illustrate Cat the Cat. He wants readers to be able to draw his characters and create books of their own. Sheer genius! This is an entertaining book for those students who are just beginning to read.

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