This cheery entry in the I Like to Read series successfully tells a simple tale and creates a sense of community using just 20 unique words.
Short, declarative sentences describe the action. Cat enters a house, climbs up three floors and finds a cozy room just big enough to make a perfect home. Colorful, cartoon-style illustrations help fill in the details. The eponymous hero is a round, yellow cat with a shy smile who starts out shivering on a cold and snowy sidewalk. Jumping into an open window, he lands in a snug cellar, where he meets a friendly rat who sends him up the stairs. The animals who live in the upper stories welcome Cat and offer gifts that reflect their interests. When “Cat [meets] Dog,” who sits in a cozy armchair surrounded by bookshelves, Cat leaves with a book tucked under his arm. Rabbit, an enthusiastic gardener, gives him a small potted plant, Bird offers a painting, and Elephant takes time out from playing the piano to provide a hot cup of tea. By the end, “Cat [is] happy,” and readers will be too.
Plenty of visual cues, lots of repetition and a clear story arc make this a perfect choice for beginning readers—and parents pressed for time will likely be happy to find such a short, sweet read-aloud. (Early reader.4-7)