That Cat Can’t Stay
Written by Thad Krasnesky
Illustrated by David Parkins
Dad attempts to put a stop to Mom bringing home stray cats, but somehow Mom keeps them anyway. The first cat Mom brings home is in the pouring rain. Dad says “No way!” until he realizes how miserable the cat would be in the rain. He relents, saying no one can pet him or play with him. Don’t become attached because the cat is going. Then Mom finds a calico that is too skinny and pathetic. Mom finds a cat lost in a parking lot where it could get run over. And worst of all, Mom finds a cat with a broken leg! With every cat, Dad repeats his reasons why the cats can’t stay ending with “I’m sure EVERYONE agrees: we can’t have ANY more of these!” Finally, when the oldest daughter brings home a lost kitten, Dad reaches his breaking point. He comes home with…a dog!
The charming and whimsical illustrations are a perfect companion to the rhyming text. Dad is slightly overweight, wears huge running shoes and has messy red hair. Here’s a dad kids can relate to. Perfect for reading aloud, one group literacy activity for students is for them to imagine the other characters bringing home different animals and chant the father’s repeated objections: “I’m sure EVERYONE agrees: we can’t have ANY more of these!” The reading level is a comfortable one for second graders and the back and forth dialogue would make this a good selection for reader’s theatre.
There is a delightful interview with the author and a first grade class at ( http://charlotteaward.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/thad-krasnesky-interview/ ). There are also activities at the publisher’s website: (http://www.flashlightpress.com/Activity_Guides.html ).