Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where is Catkin?

Where Is Catkin?
written by Janet Lord; illustrated by Julie Paschkis
(Peachtree Publishers) 2010
Source: Orange County Public Library

My wife walked in one afternoon and saw a copy of Where Is Catkin? in my lap. She instantly remarked, "That is a beautiful book!" This was my first thought too. You can't take your eyes off of it. If you put this book with nine others on a table and asked a kid to come in and look at the books, there is a pretty good chance he or she would pick up Where Is Catkin? first. The combination of bright colors and whimsical drawings are simply wonderful.

In the story, Catkin the cat jumps off his owner's lap to hunt in the yard. He attempts to capture each animal that he meets, but is unsuccessful as each successive animal finds a way to escape. Finally, Catkin climbs a tree to try and catch a bird, but finds himself up in the tree and afraid to climb down. Fortunately, his owner Amy is a brave soul and she climbs the tree to rescue Catkin. When I first read this book, I was blown away by Julie Paschkis' artwork and didn't properly appreciate the pattern of the text. Janet Lord's text would be an excellent source for creating a sequence map. Students could list each animal that Catkin meets and below list how the animal escaped. After reading the book, I would ask students to think of other animals that Catkin might meet and have students think about how that animal might escape.

Don't be surprised to see this book garner a Caldecott Medal or Honor in January.

Other reviews of Where Is Catkin?:
Washington Post
Beth Fish Reads

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