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Space Cat (I Can Read Book 1) Hardcover – May 25, 2004

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 1-2. In this sf adventure from the An I Can Read Book series, Space Cat and his comic sidekick, Earl the Robot, are heading home to Earth when a space rock crashes into their rocket ship's fuel tank. Space Cat quickly lands on a nearby planet and looks for help, while Earl mends the fuel tank and cooks up a batch of his infamous noodles. When Space Cat's overtures to the local king prove useless, Earl's noodles save the day. Though the plot may be a bit silly, the story doesn't take itself too seriously and the words are easy to read. The somewhere-out-in-space setting will appeal to kids who have run through Yolen's Commander Toad books all too quickly. Best of all, Cushman's cartoonlike drawings, zinging with bright colors, give the book instant appeal. The lightning bolt on Space Cat's space suit is evidently an homage to Flash Gordon, who is named on the dedication page. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Doug Cushman came up with the idea for Space Cat when he was ten years old and dreamed of becoming a children's book illustrator. Now Space Cat joins a growing cast of clever characters that Doug Cushman has created as a grown-up. These include the intrepid anteater detective, Aunt Eater, who stars in four popular books, including Aunt Eater Loves a Mystery; the amazing Seymour Sleuth of The Mystery of King Karfu; and the great grasshopper private eye, Inspector Hopper, in inspector hopper's mystery year and inspector hopper.

Currently Mr. Cushman divides his time between northern California and Paris, France.

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"Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: I Can Read Book 1
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (May 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060089652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060089658
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,679,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Since 1978 Doug Cushman has illustrated over 125 children's books, thirty or so of which he wrote as well. Among his many honors he has gained a place on the New York Times Children's Best Sellers list and on the 2003 Children's Literature Choice list. The first book of his popular beginning reader series featuring Aunt Eater was a Reading Rainbow Book. He has received a National Cartoonist's Society Reuben Award for Book Illustration, the 2004 Christopher Award for his book illustrations, a 2007 and 2010 Maryland Blue Crab Award and the 2009 California Young Readers Medal. He illustrated the best selling "Can't Do" series, including What Dads Can't Do and What Moms Cant Do for Simon and Schuster. His recent titles include Halloween Good Night and Christmas Eve Good Night, which received a starred review from Kirkus. His first book of poems, Pigmares is due to be published in 2012. He has displayed his original art in France, Romania and the USA, including the prestigious Original Art, the annual children's book art show at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. He is fan of mystery novels and plays slide guitar horribly. He enjoys cooking, traveling, eating and absorbing French culture and good wine--even designing a wine label for a Burgundy wine maker--in his new home in Paris, France.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sara Lp Balthazor on November 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I wouldn't consider this great literature, but my 23-month-old absolutely loves Space Cat. She tells me all about the pictures, and names the characters. True, she's not reading yet, but I'm sure that she'll be so familiar with the text by that point that it'll serve as a good learning guide for site words.

I wish there were sequels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Avid reader on January 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I got this book without properly looking at it at a local book fair.

Here are my issues with the book:

1. The assigned reading level is wrong:
It is supposed to be level one for "eager new readers". I don't know if someone rated it the wrong level or this is what level one reading is supposed to be. The words are far too large for beginner readers, the pages are filled with large words, blends and several contractions all of which really confuse and frustrate my five year old. This book is filled with words like creatures, rocket, fuel, strange and ketchup -- all really hard words for a starting reader.

2. The plot is not all that engaging:
There are too many parts that are brought together, the silly robot that cannot cook, hitting an asteroid, finding fuel, dealing with the king, and finally getting the fuel. There is not much cohesiveness as you move from one part of the story to another.

All in all, I would suggest finding another book, The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat is a favorite of ours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Louisa on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
My daughter picked this book at the library two days ago. We read it together once, and she's read it at least five or six times on her own, including once to her doll last night as the doll's bedtime story. I'm not sure what draws her to read it multiple times, but it was fun to hear her mimic my funny voices for the Space Cat characters.

The book has roughly 20-50 words per page, with illustrations on most pages. I would guess it's geared for a solid first grade reader (maybe a F&P level J or K), although early Kindergarten readers (like my 5 year old) and some second graders would like it as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"The lightning bolt on Space Cat's space suit is evidently an homage to Flash Gordon, who is named on the dedication page."

I can't help wondering why there's not an homage to Ruthven Todd, who wrote a series of books titled "Space Cat" back in the '50's. Doug Cushman, the author of this book, is exactly the right age (born 1953) to have grown up reading the original "Space Cat." I wonder if there's a subconscious connection.

That said, as a science-fiction fan since my own childhood in the '60's, I'm all for any book that gets kids interested in the genre.
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