Written by Annie M.G. Schmidt
Very feline hijinks are the theme of this recently-translated and great fantasy.
Winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, Annie M.G. Schmidt died in 1995. Her books are loved throughout Europe, but especially in her home, the Netherlands. This translation stands as a delightful addition to children’s literature available in the USA.
Minou is very cattish, but she doesn’t look like a cat. And she’s not sure why. She climbs a tree when a dog chases her, and thus begins her association with Tibble, a reporter with the Killenthorn Courier and sometimes rescuer of cats in trees. Killenthorn is full of cats, and Minou finds she is able to communicate with all of them. She helps Tibble gather news and keep his job at the paper. His editor hates cat stories, but they’re able to give him news about humans from what they overhear. Mr. Ellmore is a businessman who has the entire town convinced he is a nice, compassionate man, but he’s really very nasty. Plus, he owns the meanest dog in town. Through Minou’s efforts, Tibble is able to expose Ellmore. The reader also finds out how Minou ended up in her predicament and can cheer for her to find peace in her life.
Fifth graders will enjoy the gentle humor and ridiculous situations. Meanwhile, they’ll learn about a slightly different culture and definitely a different fantasy world.
Buy on Amazon
- Title: The Cat Who Came In off the Roof
- Author: Annie M.G. Schmidt
- Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers/Random House, January, 2016
- Reviewer: Sue Poduska
- Format: Hardcover, 160 pages
- Grade Level: 5 Up
- Genre: Fantasy, Humor
- ISBN: 978-0-553-53501-3
Written by John Agard
Illustrated by Neil Parker
If a book could talk, what would it say about its past?
It would tell you about the farmers of Mesopotamia doodling with sticks on clay, but even before that type of writing, story was told with breath.
This fun look at the development of the book is entertaining as well as educational. Teachers and librarians will use it to fulfill core curriculum standards in areas of history and several literacy skills. Young readers will need to be prepared for how the author uses the inanimate book to tell the story in words normally used by people.
A fun activity to engage in while reading this book aloud to a class would be the creation of a time line illustrating each evolution of print. Students can discuss their opinions of digital versus print books when they come to the section in this text where we are assured that story will always be present.
The inclusion of poems, and quotes from around the world about the importance of books to the world add depth and beauty.
Students who become interested in the development of the book will want to research beyond this simple, but fun introduction.
Buy on Amazon
- Title: Book: My Autobiography
- Author: John Agard
- Illustrator: Neil Parker
- Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2015
- Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
- Format: Hardcover, 132 pages
- ISBN: 978-0-7636-7236-2
- Genre: Fiction
- Grade level: 5 Up