Cat Knit by Jacob Grant is tale of friendship, love, loss, betrayal. and understanding– all told from the perspective of the cat aptly named “Cat.” Cat’s best friend is cozy Yarn, until Yarn is suddenly transformed into an unfamiliar foe. In the tradition of Harry the Dirty Dog in the story No Roses for Harry!, Cat does not appreciate the unwanted gift of an itchy sweater (once Cat’s friend Yarn). However, Cat, also like Harry, discovers that a previously hated gift can turn into something better than expected. The simple textual narrative of Cat Knit is carried by the bright and expressive illustrations of Cat. His big, green eyes say more to the reader than any dialogue could. This silly story is fun for both children and parents alike.
If you liked Cat Knit, you should read Little Bird’s Bad Word, another story by Jacob Grant offering children a lesson through whimsical pictures. If you’re looking for more cat classics, Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius Cat by Kate Harnett delivers beautiful imagery paired with a thorough appreciation for our feline friends.
Written by: Anique
Are you a young princess with ambitions to become a fierce warrior? If so, you’re in for a treat because Kate Beaton has comically captured such a struggle in her children’s book The Princess and the Pony. Adult readers may be familiar with Kate Beaton’s distinctly quirky drawing style and sense of humor from her webcomic series Hark! A Vagrant. Beaton adapted one of her original characters, a dumpy pony, to delight a younger audience as well.
Princess Pinecone is the protagonist of our story. She is the youngest warrior in a kingdom of warriors and is desperate to prove her fortitude in battle (though battling in Princess Pinecone’s kingdom seems to consist mostly of spitballs and general scuffles). All Princess Pinecone really needs to succeed in battle is a horse—one big, strong, and ready to charge! As her birthday approaches, the princess figures that this birthday will be the one where she finally gets a horse instead of yet another cozy sweater.
She thought wrong.
Instead of the stallion she so desires, Princess Pinecone receives a pony. Not just any pony—one decidedly stout, stumpy, and above all, adorable! How can Princess Pinecone strike fear in the hearts of the other warriors with such a pony? Still, the princess graciously accepts her gift (even though his eyes point in different directions!) and tries to make the best of the situation. Pinecone tries to train her pony for battle, but it proves difficult to try and turn a chubby pony into a fierce warhorse.
When the day of the battle finally arrives, Pinecone and her pony enter into battle– and surprise everyone with a secret weapon. Goofy illustrations will make younger readers giggle while adults will enjoy the nonsensical, deadpan humor.
If you liked The Princess and the Pony, look for Kate Beaton’s latest children’s book, King Baby!
Reviewed by: Anique A.
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander is a book popping up on a lot of different school summer reading lists. For some students, reading is the last thing they want to do when school is out. It can be hard to get your student to read when the nice weather is calling their name. We get it. However, if you’re given a choice on which books to read, this is a great one for students who don’t like to read.
This book is unlike any book I’ve read before. Written completely in verse, there are no more than 50 words on a page. So, just by looking at the pages it doesn’t seem all that bad. It’s a super quick read and the subject matter is very tangible and realistic.
We’re following a pair of twins who are obsessed with basketball, and sometimes girls. Sometimes things are great – you’re winning all your games and you’re getting A’s in all your classes. However, there’s always those times when you’re mom starts making weird dips trying to get you healthy, you’re fighting with a best friend, or your mind just isn’t in the game.
If you like this book, you’ll enjoy Kwame Alexander’s other book Booked, Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes, and Rocket Man by Jan Coates.
Written by: Megan Y.