Big Cat, Little Kitty
Illustrated by Susan Detwiler
Appealing to the cat lover in most of us, this is a fun way to learn about cats the world over. With each turn of the page, the author compares and contrasts the big cats and house cats. Through repetition and context, second and third graders should be able to increase reading skills, with new animal and place names and other challenging words. Additionally, the author progresses through the days of the week. On Monday, Tiger encounters a gibbon in the jungle. Tiggy sees a spider on her porch. On a Tuesday plain, Cheetah tends her cubs and keeps an eye on a warthog. Chessie spies a mouse near her rug. On Wednesday, Kalahari Lion watches a springbok while Leonardo watches a butterfly. And so on. This book has been honored by Mom’s Choice Awards.
The extensive “For Creative Minds” section includes reading activities such as locating big cats on a world map and cat true false questions. The reader learns about all the cats highlighted in the text: their place in the animal kingdom, the adaptations they have made, and their senses and actions. No mention is made of any endangered cats. More activities are available at the publisher’s website, listed in the manuscript. Because the activities may engender discussion and adult involvement, this may be good as a read along, either at home or in the classroom.
The accurate illustrations are not only visually appealing but also educational and detailed, showing the relative size of animals and their habitats. The pictures lure the reader into the cats’ world and leave the reader with a warm feeling.