CATS ARE CATS by Valeri Gorbachev


Age Range: 2 - 5
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Miss Bell’s kitten, Tiger, is just a typical cat—maybe.

Miss Bell loves cats, so one day she goes to Pet Land and brings home a little kitten. He is cute with stripes and tail like a tiger’s, so she names him Tiger. She loves him and plays with him and feeds him and watches television with him. Her little Tiger grows into a huge, real tiger. He roars and takes over the house. Sometimes he is messy, but still she loves him. “Cats are cats,” she says. One day, while they are out for a walk, Tiger sees some fish in the Pet Land window. Well, Miss Bell knows that cats love fish, so she buys Tiger his own fish to watch. He loves them…but one of them has a surprising growth spurt, and—well, “Fish are fish.” The shape of Gorbachev’s tale is a bit off-kilter. After drawing out the amusing absurdity of a regular kitten’s growing into a tiger but still living in a house, it rushes to a close. His fine ink-and-watercolor illustrations are, as always, endearing, but the cover gives away too much; there’s no surprise to the kitten-to-tiger transformation.

Certainly not Gorbachev’s best, though it’s agreeable enough. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8234-3052-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2014


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