Thursday, December 11, 2008
There are cats in this book by Viviane Schwarz - review
There are cats in this book by Viviane Schwarz
I'm a pretty big Scrooge, it's a fact. I jumped up and down and kissed everyone within reach when I realized we didn't have to put up a Christmas tree this year because we're going out of town. And anyone who knows me knows I hate our cats. Cat. I keep forgetting the one died. See? Isn't that terrible?
But the cats in There are cats in this book can come and hang out with the children at my house any time.
The book first grabbed me with its understated title. Running across the bottom of the front cover, "There are cats in this book" is a whisper from a kid who has something to show you. Does not hurt that the book is bound in that super-matte, sort of toothy ivory paper that makes you want to stroke it.
On the page facing the endpaper, the book tells you, "The cats aren't on this page." On the next page we're told, "The cats aren't on this page, either. They're on the next page. They'd love to play with you. They're very friendly."
And do you know what? Those cats - Moonpie, Tiny, and Andre - play with the reader! SO cleverly, the cats encourage the reader to turn pages: "Could you turn a whole PAGE?" "Because there's YARN on the next page. LOOK!" Flaps and page cuts assist the cats in their efforts to play. Oh, it's fun. AND it's an amazing teaching tool, demonstrating page order, sequence, even dimensionality. I am kind of done with the "i" word, but when the cats get you to blow on them to dry them off after they are caught in a tidal wave... that's interactive, baby.
Nice swooshy brushy drawings are augmented by brightly-patterned bits of collage to keep There are cats in this book as fun to look at as it is to play with and read. I'd give this book to the littlest kids, to medium-size kids, and I think even older kids would be charmed by these fourth-wall-busting kitties. If it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone!
Oooh! Oh God, Viviane Schwarz has patterns so you can knit your own cats! There's still time before Christmas, you crafty crafters!