written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
2012 (Simon and Schuster Books)
Source: Orange County Library
You can count on Emily Gravett to have a clever take and a twist or two in her picture books. Matilda's Cat fits the bill. Matilda tries to read her cat's mind and find out what she may be interested in doing. Maybe she wants to play with wool. The cat does not. How about a two story box house? Not interested. Matilda goes through a series of activities in order to engage her feline friend. What she ends up doing is alternately boring or frightening the cat. In the end, we find out that all the cat wants to be with Matilda herself. This is a sweet book that celebrates the relationship between pets and their humans. The illustrations, in the usual Gravett style, are adorable. Young readers will love this book and want to talk about what they do with their pets. That opens the floor to a fun writing activity about pets. I am reaching here, but I also think this story would also be a good metaphor for parenting. All the cat wants to do is to be with Matilda. Instead of involving our kids in a gazillion activities, perhaps all they want is to spend some time with us. Just a thought.