A skateboarding cat demonstrates simple concepts and numeracy.
Pink-shorts–wearing Cat is on a roll, zipping and flipping by various animal friends. Purcell introduces basic concepts such as colors, counting, and some opposites (fast/slow, first/last), among others. The text follows a simple structure within a rhyming format, each page featuring one declarative sentence always beginning with “Cat.” As a result, the book keeps a nice pace with a predictable rhythm, a boon for little listeners who thrive on repetition. Even the illustrations follow the same pattern. Each layout features the same solid teal background on the verso while the recto is sky-blue. There is no variation until both hues darken at nighttime in the final spread. Cat’s facial expressions never change, save one page with a slight frown. This is a stylistic choice that misses an easy opportunity to further engage readers. All of the animal friends—small birds, a turtle, and an owl—also share Cat’s minimalistic style. The text does not use any gendered pronouns. Overall, the book is just right for infant and toddler listeners who crave familiar patterns and will zero in on slight, intentional differences from page to page.
Carefully calibrated for its audience.(Board book. 6 mos.-2)