HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: If You Were a Cat
Author: S. J. Calder
Illustrator: Cornelius Van Wright
Publisher: Silver Press, 1989
ISBN-13: 978-0671685980 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0671685988 (Hardcover)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 3-6
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Calder, S. J. If You Were a Cat (published in 1989 by Silver Press). If You Were A Cat describes all of the many the characteristics and behavior of cats and what it would be like to be a cat. It imagines a feline speaking directly to young readers, relating her habits, activities, and daily life. Early on, an illustration shows a cat venturing out into a suburban backyard along with the line, “At night, I go out and explore!” A few pages later we see the cat nursing a litter of four along with the line, “I am a mother cat too.” Then the kittens are shown being given away. At the end of the story, with all of her kittens gone, the cat announces she’s “ready to go exploring again,” and is once again outdoors.
Part of Simon and Schuster’s “First Facts” series, If You Were a Cat is a great informational book, picturing all different types of cats and asking questions such as, “How many short-haired cats do you see?” and “How many long-haired cats do you see?” Also it goes on to explain that not all cats are pets, showing pictures and giving the names of many cats in the wild, such as a panther or a tiger. Other titles by S. J. Calder in the series include If You Were an Ant, If You Were a Fish, and If You Were a Bird.