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Caramba Hardcover – August 9, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–Caramba is ashamed that he cannot fly like the other cats. Confiding in his flightless friend Portia the pig, he practices flying in secret. He lands in some comical predicaments but remains frustrated and grounded. When his cousins try teaching him to get airborne by carrying him over the ocean and letting go, a scary fall to the bottom teaches Caramba that even though he can't perform like they do, he can do something they cannot. He can swim. Gay's characteristic gentle and funny watercolor illustrations make the story more appealing and the characters more alive. Once kids accept the flying cats, they will enjoy this subtle fantasy with its themes of self-esteem and individuality.–Julie Roach, Watertown Free Public Library, MA
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From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. Caramba is despondent because he can't fly like all the other kittens. He tries to hide his failure, even from his porcine friend Portia, but cousins Bijou and Bug find out, hoist him into the sky, and let go. Does Caramba fly? Nope, he drops like a stone into the ocean--where he discovers not only a fascinating undersea world but also a very un-catlike ability to swoop and somersault through the water. "Cats can't swim! Everyone knows that!" cries Bijou. "Well, I can," is Caramba's exuberant response. Young self-doubters will take heart from this imaginative reworking of an enduring theme, illustrated in Gay's delicate, appropriately splashy watercolors. John Peters
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books (August 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0888996675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888996671
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 9.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Barbara J. French on June 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This story is about diversity and meeting a challenge in a different way. And it's cleverly done with a cat who is supposed to swim. He can't, but he does try anyway. His best friend is a pig who can't fly either. But she encourages him to find his niche. The cat does discover that he can swim and other cats cannot.

It teaches a valuable lesson about believing in yourself and searching for what really makes you happy. The book is beautifully illustrated. Makes a great gift for a child.
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By earthymama on January 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While helping out in the classroom (2nd grade) the teacher asked me to read this book to a group of the kids. They were gripped from the very beginning of the story (Caramba wasn't like other cats, he couldn't fly...)and I loved it so much that I ordered it for our house the minute I got home. It is beautifully illustrated and the story is charming. This is a great gift book for young children.
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Format: Hardcover
this was the first book (with a plot and real live edible pages) my daughter sat through at 15 months. She loved the pictures. She still chooses it as a bedtime story today. Lovely story about friendship and the challenges of being different.
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By Clara Isaza on October 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Beatiful story and drawings. Nice bedtime reading. Not too long not too short. My kids enjoy it a lot (6 and 3 years old). Very nice book.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Wagner on February 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What an ego blow! Imagine being the only cat in the world incapable of flight. Woe is you...Wah, wah... Then, you discover you can swim and the other cats cannot swim. Total joy! Maybe this book is an epiphany on diversity. Maybe it means we should accept ourselves for what we are, as long as we have a super power no one else does. Maybe it means nothing at all... In spite of the really nifty watercolors a huge number of this title are offered for sale on the Amazon Marketplace.
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