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If you’re a faithful reader of First Time Mom you’ll know my sister, Bert, and I are very different. She’s more outgoing than me, I’m crunchier than her. One area we greatly differ is in our opinions of cats. Being allergic to cats, Bert was never a fan of kitties. Then in high school a neighbor’s cat attacked her and that was the nail in the coffin for all cats according to Bert.
Me? I love cats! Naturally growing up with my dear allergic sister left me feeling deprived. Cats became a sort of forbidden treasure to me and I dreamed of the day when I would finally adopt my first kitty. Now I’m the proud owner of an adorable tuxedo cat we adopted from the MSPCA. Our cat is truly a part of the family and I’m happy to see my kids share my love of cats.
Another passion of mine is literacy and children’s literature. My kids and I love books that feature kitties. I can’t keep all this feline goodness to myself so here is a list of our favorite children’s books for cat-lovers. At first I was going to write about my top ten children’s books for cat-lovers, but that turned into my top fifteen. Finally I cut myself off at my top twenty, yes TWENTY, children’s books for kids of all ages and feline fans. Enjoy!
20 Children’s Books for Cat-Lovers
Cat Goes Fiddle-i-fee adapted by Paul Galdone – This book is an adaptation of a children’s rhyme. When I taught elementary music this tune was a favorite of my Pre-K and Kindergarten students. Illustrated song books are wonderful for kids of any age.
Three Little Kittens adapted by Jerry Pinkney – Three Little Kittens is another traditional children’s rhyme (and song) and Jerry Pinkey is one of my favorite illustrators.
The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown – This is an oldie but a goodie! Most know Margaret Wise Brown’s classic Good Night Moon, but her book, The Color Kittens is a Little Golden Book classic that is a must-have for any kitty-loving preschooler.
Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell – Hug Time is one of those books that makes its way onto many of my favorite children’s literature lists. Whether or not you are a cat-lover you are going to love this heart-warming read-aloud.
Black Cat, White Cat by Silvia Borando – What a sweet and innocent story of two kitties who fall in love! It is also a great lesson in contrast: day and night, white and black. With an adorable surprise at the end, it is a delightful read.
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss – Arguably the best known cat in children’s literature is “The Cat in the Hat,” so I couldn’t leave this one off the list. this is a great book for young readers because of its fun-loving story and its many, MANY words. Parental translation, The Cat in the Hat is great for readers but not quick bedtimes. Heh, heh!
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean and Kimberly Dean – Pete the Cat is a very popular kitty character among elementary kiddos. Bert’s oldest, The Boy, loves reading Pete the Cat books. I particularly love this Pete the Cat book because it is an excellent lesson about the power of perspective.
Knitty Kitty by David Elliott – “Clickety-click. Tickety-tick. Knitty Kitty sits and knits.” This is the purrrfect read aloud for chilly winter days when all you want to do is stay inside and be cozy.
Mac and Cheese by Sarah Weeks – This is another excellent book for new readers. It is one of many great books in the “I Can Read Book® Series.” I also love the depiction of kindness and devotion between Mac and Cheese. They are the literally “Odd Couple” of kitties.
Slinky Malinki by Lynley Dodd – Another excellent read aloud, Slinky Malinki is about a sweet kitty who gets a bit too mischievous at night. Lynley Dodd, a New Zeland native, is a gem of a children’s book author.
Tabby McTat the Musical Cat by Julia Donaldson – Speaking of favorite authors, here’s a lovely tale from another of my favorite children’s book authors, Julia Donaldson.
The Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter – Any children’s literature fan is a fan of Beatrix Potter. Her stories capture the charm of Victorian England and her characters are a delight for readers of all ages.
Minette’s Feast (The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat) by Susanna Reich – Looking for a fun story and perhaps some culinary inspiration? Minette’s Feast is a pleasure for lovers of food and felines.
Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats by Alicia Potter – One of the beautiful things about literature is that a good book often serves as a mirror through which we better understand ourselves. Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats is a lovely tale of helping others and overcoming fears.
Won Ton A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw and Eugene Yelchin – Any cat-lover will laugh out loud at Lee Wardlaw’s portaryal of Won Ton the cat’s journey from the shelter to settling into his new home. An entertaining children’s book written entirely in haikus, yes please!
Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore – One of my favorite things about cats is that they are clever creatures. This humorous tale shows that where there is a will, a cat will find a way.
Max the Brave by Ed Vere – My three year old son loves this book. We giggle throughout Max the cat’s antics of being “brave” and trying to figure out what a mouse actually is.
Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett – Annie’s cat, Taffy, begins to act strange and runs off into the woods so Annie considers taming one of the woodland creatures that visits her yard. Who can she tame and where did Taffy run off to?
Ketzel the Cat who Composed by Lesléa Newman – As a music educator and cat-lover, I’m a big fan of this book. A tale that epitimizes the love between pet and owner, Ketzel the Cat who Composed is based on a true story of Juilliard-trained composer, Morris Moshe Cotel and his cat, Ketzel.
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Writing up this list makes me want to go to the library and discover more books! Whether your child is a baby, a toddler, a preschooler, or elementary student there is a book for every cat-loving kiddo on this list. So take a tip from me, “Pin” this list and use it as a reference for some book ideas before your next trip to the library. Happy reading!
Wife, work at home mom, and bassoonist, Laura Ankrum lives in Iowa City, Iowa. Prior to the arrival of her two children Laura taught elementary music and band in the Boston area. Now her home is her classroom and music studio. Laura is passionate about education, encouraging other moms, and eco-friendly living. She is the social media coordinator at Thirsties Inc and regularly contributes to First Time Mom.