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Cats: They wake you up at dawn, nap on your lap, perch on the book you're reading, and sometimes act as though they don't know you. They are a constant source of puzzlement?and joy. In this collection of poems, Dave Crawley pays tribute to the fabulous, finicky felines he has known and loved since childhood, capturing classic cat antics with affection and humor. Tamara Petrosino's watercolor illustrations amplify the humor and depict cats' expressions, postures, and mischievous ways as only a devoted cat owner could.
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Dave Crawley's poetry for children appears in several anthologies, including If Kids Ruled the School. He works as a features reporter at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and also serves on Pittsburgh's board of the Animal Rescue League.
Tamara Petrosino is the illustrator of Rocky: The Cat Who Barks, by Donna Jo Napoli and Marie Kane, as well as many other books for young readers. She resides in Rutherford, New Jersey, with her beloved cat, Charlie.
Kindergarten-Grade 4–A pampered Persian shares the limelight with strays in celebration of felines. Many of the 24 entries describe their comical antics, whether they are flying across a room in pursuit of invisible creatures or assisting with household chores: "He paws at the sheets,/and claws at the spread./(My cat likes to help/when I'm making the bed)." There is a "Grocery Store Cat" that "... sits by himself/on the window shelf/in old Mister Galligan's store" and a "Playground Cat" that entices children to "...leave/their slides and swings/to watch him play/with shoelace strings." Other critters sleep, snuggle, pounce, and play. Crawley utilizes line-ending rhyme schemes in the poems, and the familiar pattern will engage beginning or reluctant readers, while the humor and wit will appeal to the school-age crowd. Petrosino's watercolor illustrations match the mood of the light verse as colorful cats are shown contentedly sleeping, wildly cavorting, or interacting with their young owners. Two of the offerings are presented in a comic-book-style format, creating a new, unexpected experience with poetry. Display this volume with Douglas Florian's Bow Wow Meow Meow (Harcourt, 2003) as examples of verse that pay tribute to beloved pets with merriment and affection.– Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI
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