Book Review: Three More Stories You Can Read to Your Cat

Review cross-posted on our sister site: Caterpickles.com.

Three More Stories You Can Read to Your Cat
By Sara Swan Miller
Illustrated by True Kelley
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002
Age Range: Ages 8 and up

As Sara Swan Miller explains in her introduction to this collection, cats sleep a lot because they get bored a lot. Since you and I know that reading books is one of the best ways to counter an attack of boredom, she explains, one of the nicest things you can do for your feline friend when boredom has flattened him on the couch is to entice your cat onto your lap and with a soft voice and gentle petting read him a story. After all, “Cats always like to hear stories about themselves.”

It turns out that pretend cats also like to hear stories about cats, which is why I found myself yesterday afternoon with a preschooler and a purring grey tabby competing for space on my lap while we read this book.

This was particularly remarkable, because Cozy generally goes out of his way to avoid storytime. But now that we’ve repeated this experiment several times, I can safely describe this collection of stories as literary catnip for the finicky cat. So long as your lap has a bit of space, a cat is sure to climb into it and listen when you crack open this book.

Given the repeated demands from both real and pretend felines for encore performances, it’s fortunate that Miller’s stories are fun to read. Miller and True Kelley, the illustrator, certainly know their cats. They portray our feline overlords with an affectionate teasing tone that makes this collection of stories as fun for the parent to read as it is for the child and her preferred pet to hear.

Which is why The Four-Year-Old and I have had this book in nearly constant rotation in our storytime sessions ever since we first checked it out of the library. And why I’m going to encourage my childless cat-loving readers out there to check out this book at their local library whenever you are in need of a chuckle or two. Whether or not you have a child is not the key ingredient for enjoying this book. Having (or having had) a cat is.

PSST, dog lovers: There’s no need to feel left out, Sara Swan Miller also has at least two books full of stories you can read to your dog.

And now it’s your turn. What are you reading this week?

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About Shala Howell

Writer of things ranging from optical network switching white papers to genetic testing patient education materials to historical fiction set in an 1880s asylum. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), my writerly self can be found blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, or musing about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.wordpress.com.
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