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Monday, September 4, 2017

Here Comes Teacher Cat, written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda. Dial Books, Penguin. 2017. $22.99 ages 5 and up

"Cat? ... Cat?

That might be too loud
         for the ...
... class next door.

Maybe something else?
Building time?
That sounds fun!"

Cat is back! I am so happy to see this funny feline once again. The kittens' teacher, Ms. Melba, is off to an appointment with her doctor. A substitute is needed, and Cat agrees to take charge of the class. Kitty School is not a familiar concept to this 'emergency' substitute and there is much to learn for all involved.

Rudely awakened by the telephone, Cat has a plan for all-day napping. When that call comes in,  plans change.

"Dog is on vacation.

And I suspect Santa Claus, the
Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy
aren't available either."

It takes a bit of persuasion.

"Oh, Cat. Ms. Melba has always
helped YOU out.

Remember how she made you that
nice catnip pillow?

And brought you soup when you
were sick?" 

Keeping to the amusing bent of the other books, the narrator's voice and the subtle expressions displayed in soft images with ink and colored pencils are perfection. Cat works adeptly to determine the nature of the job and then the responsibilities associated with a day spent in a classroom filled with young charger. This familiar and loved character will make it a perennial request for reading aloud, and it is destined to be a great addition to the classroom baskets in the reading center: an author's work, or a favorite character series, or a funny stories basket. You choose where it best fits. Your students won't mind where they find it, as long as it there.

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