Posts Tagged With: kidlit

Celeste and the Adorable Kitten

I was thrilled to finally read Celeste and the Adorable Kitten, the sequel to Celeste and the Giant Hamster. Author and animal lover Melanie Typaldos  brings cat characters to life in a way I had never experienced before, with the story told completely from the cat’s perspective as a cat. It is not a story about a cat who basically acts like a human. Each cat has a distinct personality, some pleasant and some not, just as real cats are. There is a Cat Code of Conduct and a wealth of old cat’s sayings that guide the cats’ choices and behavior.

The adventure in the story is well paced, and all the cat characters are memorable. I loved it. This book is also illustrated by Alexandra Tayts.

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From the back of the book: “It wasn’t easy but Celeste the Cat has managed to capture the perfect gift for Mother, a beautiful – and unharmed – red bird that almost looks like one of the ornaments when she tucks it under a strand of Christmas tree lights. Now she just needs to wait for the right moment to reveal it. But everything changes when Father brings home a tiny white kitten that he rescued from the grocery store parking lot. The family dotes on the kitten while Celeste is pushed aside. It eats her food, drinks out of her bowl, and plays with her toys. But not for long! With the reluctant help of her two faithful companions, Ruby and Tiger, Celeste plots to rid herself of the little menace. But instead of finding the kitten a new home, Celeste ends up rescuing Salt from one peril after another until at last she finds herself on a desperate mission to rescue the kitten from the pound.”

I highly recommend reading Celeste and the Giant Hamster first, just to get to know Ruby and Tiger before you jump into Celeste and the Adorable Kitten. But it’s certainly not necessary!

Melanie’s beloved capybara Garibaldi Rous, who makes a cameo appearance in the new book, passed away last week. For more information please visit GiantHamster.com.

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Categories: Books we love, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Harry the (Wonderful) Dirty Dog

Happy Picture Book Month! Meet another one of my personal childhood favorites, the Harry the Dirty Dog books by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham. I still remember the happy feeling I got from Harry’s transformative bath (is that a spoiler?), the bird’s nest, and how much Harry was loved by his family. I don’t have too many memories from my early childhood, but 40 years later, I do remember these books and how much I loved the stories. That’s as good a recommendation as any book is going to get! Needless to say, I was thrilled to find them reissued when my boys were little.

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My favorite is No Roses for Harry! I love the bird and the great sweater Harry gets at the end of the book. (Is that a spoiler, too? These books have been read for almost 60 years, can we still have spoilers?) The books are wonderful for reading aloud or for newly independent beginning readers.

Gene Zion was talked into writing the Harry books by Ursula Nordstrom, editor for Harper’s Department of Books for Boys and Girls for more than three decades. She was responsible for many of the most beloved books of the last century. Read a fascinating blog post from Maria Popova about Nordstrom and Maurice Sendak.

Here is Betty White’s charming reading of the first Harry book (from Storylineonline).

Which Harry book is your favorite? Do you love these books as much as I do?

Categories: Books we love, Oldie but Goodie | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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