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Cat Secrets Hardcover – January 4, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2—For anyone who has ever suspected that cats have their own secret society, this amusing book proves it. Three felines prepare to read Cat Secrets, a book so precious it's kept in a protective glass case. But first they need to make sure that there are no noncats around, and begin their investigations. They break through the fourth wall and directly challenge readers to meow, purr, and stretch. They take some convincing, and are so preoccupied with readers that they do not see a mouse sneaking around them, angling to snatch the book himself. The cats' willingness to read their secrets aloud hinges on one final test (taking a nap), which they proceed to do, giving the mouse free access to the tome. Czekaj's cartoons done in a palette of primary colors and with expressive use of speech bubbles and eyebrows make this a comedic gem. The book has obvious appeal as a read-aloud, with its instructions and large-format cartoons, but it has the intimacy of a story to be read independently. Emerging readers who have cut their teeth on Mo Willems's similarly chatty "Elephant and Piggie" series (Hyperion) will feel more than capable of tackling this book.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The cats are on to us! Three of them—a tabby, a black-and-white one, and a bespectacled kitten—are just about to crack open their book of cat secrets and read them aloud when they suddenly become suspicious. Addressing the reader, they present their blacklist (no birds, dogs, snakes, fish, girls, bears, boys, or mice). But apparently that’s not good enough. “It has come to my attention that someone other than a cat may be reading this book,” the tabby says. “Shame on you,” the kitten adds. To ensure the felineness of their audience, they ask the reader to perform a number of tests (meowing, purring, stretching), with Czekaj allowing plenty of dialogue-free pages featuring the cats patiently waiting. Czekaj’s irresistible cartoon art is both bratty and expressive, and his palette is exceedingly bright. What’s contained in Cat Secrets is never explained, but that’s OK—if there’s any pet that consistently behaves as if concealing a clandestine operation, it’s a cat. Preschool-Grade 1. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 300L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Black-Eyed Susan Book Awards - Picture Books 2013
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061920886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061920882
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lori Katz on March 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
For synopsis see above.

Received this book as (as a gift from my wish list) in my school library and read it to a class of kindergardeners. They loved it! We talked about who had a cat as a pet and if cats were like the ones in the book. They loved the tests the cats in the book made the audience do. Some kept commenting on the mouse in the story and some kept acting like cats! It's a great choice for a story time and pre-schoolers through 3rd graders will enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Bright bold colors, cute cartoon cats and enough humor to make even the most sour sourpuss chuckle, Cat Secrets is a delightful choice for story times or one on one sharing. Fans of Mo Willem's Pigeon books will find much to love here, as like his characters often do, these cats talk directly to the reader. We start out with a rather mad looking fellow advising us that since we are not cats, we have no business reading this book. He has a small group of friends with him, and a mouse that appears occasionally in an especially funny running gag (he's trying to steal the cat secrets).

The best part about this book is the interactive aspects. The cat conducts a series of tests to determine if the reader is a cat. The reader is asked to meow, purr, stretch, and finally take a nap. This makes it a natural choice for story times as long as the story reader is willing to ham it up and use some creativity in their telling. My only fault with this one is that the ending seemed a bit anti climactic. Everyone goes to sleep after taking a cat nap, then.... that's it. All done. It just seems rather abrupt after there was so much fun to be had. Also, there's probably a couple too many wordless spreads here that might make a read aloud a bit awkward unless you prepare. Sometimes wordless spreads can add to the book's impact. These however, seem superfluous. I still think this can be a read aloud success, and I think it's real strength will lie in individual sharing where the parent can invite the child to participate fully in the wordless sections.

So, all in all this is a vastly entertaining book good for groups (but you'll have to do a bit of preparation), and sure to be a lap share favorite for most any child. For more cat hijinks, be sure and check out There Are Cats in This Book - another great read aloud choice that flows a bit better. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LadyJai on March 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
So, you want to know all about cat secrets? You have to read this book! This is the only book that will tell you! But you must pass their tests before they will reveal their secrets. Do you have what it takes?

Oh the fun of 2nd person point of view. Jef Czekaj really gets the reader into the book and each page is leaving you wanting more. Would make a great read to little ones to get them trying to act like a cat!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic. It's interactive, hilarious, and just fun. I got it for my 5yr old daughter for Christmas, but we read it for the first time around the dinner table with people of all ages. Every person laughed. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Edelman on February 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I can't wait to read this sweet book to my little boy. It's an other funny and witty book from the author that kids are sure to love!
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By Heidi Grange on March 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Three cats prepare to read their book of cat secrets. When they discover that the 'reader' may not be a cat they devise a series of tests to determine whether the reader really is a cat or not. While focused on the reader, the cats do not notice a mouse doing its utmost to get its hands on the book.

The straightforward illustrations are perfect for sharing with younger children, reminiscent of Mo Willem's work, they allow the reader to focus on what is happening without being distracting. The 'tests' that the cats come up with provide a perfect opportunity for children to participate in the story. The ending is a bit abrupt, and it would have been nice to find out some of the 'cat secrets' but the story still provides plenty of fun.
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By E. Kennen on March 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is for cats only. And you, dear reader, don't look much like a cat. So before they divulge their secrets, the kitties are going to put you to the test.

This is a cute, fast read that encourages kids to act (meow, purr, stretch like a cat). The illustrations are bold and comical, particularly the wordless ongoing antics of a mouse who is trying to steal the cats' secrets while the cats are busy testing the reader. Three to six-year olds with a funny bone will enjoy this story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is awesome. Another book I recommend for your child is Skippy Jon Jones! The big yellow one is the sun, and I brought in a cup o dirt for the science fair.
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