The title says it all–this book is all about cats. After beginning with a clever and cute dedication to all types of cats as well as to “every boy, girl, or grownup who doesn’t absolutely hate cats,” author Beatrice Schenk de Regniers provides readers with a collection of poems and funny information about her favorite feline friends. First published in 1958 by Pantheon, illustrator Bill Sokol enhances de Regniers’ imagery with entertaining three-tone drawings of cats that are reminiscent of a magazine ad from the mid-twentieth century (compare the perfume ad below that is from 1960 to one of the drawings in the picture book).
“Cats Cats Cats Cats Cats” is an entertaining read for children of a variety of ages. I would recommend it for younger children who will be very entertained by the drawings, but it could be appealing for older children who like the rhyming and information about cats. As I read it, I appreciated it for the various types of poetry de Regniers used as well as the clever placement of text and pictures. My favorite part was the poem about how cats love books:
“Whenever you’re sitting and reading a book, Pussy comes over and takes a look. Then if he likes it, he’ll quietly creep on it And snuggle down and go to sleep on it.”
This reminded me of the cat that I had growing up–every time I sat down to do homework, she would come into the room and curl up on my textbook! It was adorable, but made being productive very difficult. I know if my dad had read this book, the most memorable part for him would have been the picture of the cat distroying a chair by scratching it (he was not the biggest fan of our cat…).
I also love how de Regniers included a poem by a cat, which consisted of various spellings of the word “purr” placed artfully all over one of the pages. It is clever poems like this one in combination with the entertaining drawings and relatable situations that make “Cats Cats Cats Cats Cats” a truly wonderful book from the past!
Purrrrrr (That’s cat for “Happy Reading!”)
(P.S. If you like this book, or if you are not a fan of cats, I recommend the book “Dogs” by Emily Gravett. It has a similar concept and also has very entertaining and adorable illustrations of a large variety of dogs! Plus–there’s a surprise ending that’s sure to please readers!)