written by Aline Alexander Newman
2017 (National Geographic)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Cats have so much to offer-in return, they deserve a bit of effort on our parts to understand the behaviors that so often confuse us.
As I type this, a twenty-five pound black cat is looking over my shoulder. Charlie is one of my best friends, so I was very curious to read Cat Tales. It's a collection of short stories about phenomenal felines. The book is divided into five sections (Awesome, Caring, Adventurous, Hardworking, and Curious). In each section, there are 4-5 stories about individual cats that have done something extraordinary. Moosie began life inside a wall. Once discovered, his mother and most of his litter mates had not survived. He was adopted by a military family who loved how affectionate he was. Fast forward two years and Moosie's family has been transferred from El Paso, Texas to Fairbanks, Alaska. In the cacophony of movers and boxes, Moosie disappeared. His family looked and looked for him, but he was nowhere to be found. Saddened, the family made the move to Alaska without Moosie. Their boxes arrived two months later and when the movers brought in the futon, there was heard a faint meow. Moosie had clawed inside the futon mattress when everyone was busy at the old house. He managed to live for 64 days without food and water. Other stories focus on the devotion of cats to humans and fellow animals. You'll find cats that surf and skateboard and one named Bubba that was determined to attend high school!
For teachers, these sweet cat narratives are the perfect length for working with small groups. Talk about engaging reading material! You can teach compare and contrast through working with two or more passages. A lesson on traits could also be taught as these cats are full of character. Cat Tales is a purrific collection of stories.