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Cat Up a Tree Hardcover – September 15, 1998

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this stylized primer, characterized by an old-fashioned coziness, the Hassetts (Charles of the Wild) tally no fewer than 40 felines and sum up with a gentle sting. The kitty quantifying begins when elderly Nana Quimby spies a single black-and-white cat atop a leafy, lichen-green tree. Nana calls the firehouse for assistance, but the dispatcher informs her, "Sorry... we do not catch cats up a tree anymore. Call back if that cat starts playing with matches." Dismayed, she looks out the window again and sees five cats, then 10, up the tree. Yet she can't rouse a rescuer from the police ("Call back if the cats rob a bank") or city hall ("Call back if you need a sign that says Danger! Look up for Falling Cats"). But Nana gets her chance for a subtle rebuke when the town is overrun with mice, and the purring denizens stay at her side. The husband-and-wife team enumerate the crowd of cats while poking fun at public affairs. The authors' feather-light felines could prove difficult to differentiate for beginning readers. They stand in tight formation, as slender and ethereal as mayflies (each is about two inches long, including a long, curlicue tail) and they're painted in dreamy shades of gray-green, pale blue, creamy yellow and white. Nevertheless, the Hassetts' gentle humor and equally light brushwork possess a delicate charm, and the careful Nana ensures that every cat leaves its lofty perch. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-One day Nana Quimby looks out of her apartment building window and sees a cat in a tree. When she calls the fire department, they tell her that they no longer rescue animals. Progressing by increments of five, more and more felines appear and none of the agencies or organizations she calls can offer any assistance. When the cat count is 35 and city hall has turned her down, Nana throws her telephone out the window. The animals make their way across the phone line and into her open arms. Soon the town becomes overrun by mice and when city hall calls Nana, she says "Sorry, the cats do not catch mice anymore." The last page shows "too many cats to count" napping in the woman's kitchen. The illustrations, primarily in pastels, depict small stylized animals that are not easily identifiable. This is a light and rather silly cumulative tale but children may wonder about the lack of cooperation and the particularly unhelpful nature of these community helpers.
Kathy M. Newby, Russiaville Branch Library, IN
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 350L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395884152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395884157
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John and Ann Hassett have been writing and illustrating books for many years. Their books have been recognized with a Parents' Choice Foundation Picture Book Recommendation, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon, a Booklist Editors' Choice, a feature in The New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children 3rd edition, numerous starred reviews, placement on several state reading lists, and features in the New York Times Sunday Book Review and U.S. News and World Report.

For many years John and Ann Hassett have lived in an old yellow farmhouse on the coast of Maine. It is a quiet place of trees and fields and saltwater coves. Their house and barn have been home to a cow, a pig, four sheep, a guinea pig, a white rabbit, three dogs, a cat, 23 chickens, three goats and mice in the walls. John and Ann enjoy visiting schools and libraries to read to children when they can.

Please visit www.hassettbooks.com to learn more about John and Ann Hassett and their books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a very funny, witty book that both kids and parents will appreciate. My kids thought it was wonderful and had the whole thing memorized after two or three readings. This is a first-rate book for any age.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I liked the part when the cats got stuck in the tree. I liked the part when Nana Quimbe called the town hall. It is fun to wonder what will happen at the end when mice flood the town.
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Format: Hardcover
Nana Quimby has a problem. There's a cat up a tree. So she calls the fire department, but they won't help - and when she looks again there are MORE cats. So she calls various other institutions, ranging from the sensible (police station) to the absurd (library), and finally city hall. Every call results in more cats stuck in her tree, until eventually she gives in and rescues them herself.

And when the whole city calls about the mice infestation... well, let's just say that turnaround is fair play and leave it at that. Sweet book, and a bit silly as well.
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By jeninmaine on March 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was browsing in the bookstore and came across Cat Up A Tree, and immediately fell in love with it. The story is cute and entertaining, but by far the best thing about it are the illustrations! They're very vivid, detailed and excellently done, I spent a lot of time just looking at them, so I know that my child is going to love them, too.
Definitely a great book for young children and those who read to them.
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By Friday Babe on January 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a delightfully whimsical book with colorful illustrations and rhythmically-flowing dialogue. I add various tones and vocal changes when reading it aloud to my young daughter (who is enthralled by the story and quite absorbed in Nana Quimby's dilemma!) A joy for all ages, a classic to be treasured throughout generations...
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By Kim on November 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Nana Quimby is delightful, and I was impressed with my daughter's desire and ability to count all of the cats in the tree. It's a sweet story - and we've all felt the frustration that Nana Quimby must have felt when she couldn't get help for her problem! In the end she settled the matter well in an unexpected and charming way.
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By Kindle Customer on June 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Perfect story for the little ones. Even as an adult, I liked it. The only reason I gave it a 4 and not a 5 was because of how the pictures and words weren't together, you could see the words on the actual pages but also the words under them. It's kind of hard to explain, you'd have to see it to get what I mean
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