Cats' Night Out
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Cats' Night Out

5.0 1
by Caroline Stutson, Jon Klassen
     
 

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From two cats waltzing to twenty cats in a conga line, dancing felines take to the streets, the fire escapes, and the rooftops in this charming concept picture book that is part counting and part introduction to music, dance, and rhythm. The short rhyming text makes it a perfect read-aloud treat, and with vivid illustrations from a breakout DreamWorks animator,

Overview

From two cats waltzing to twenty cats in a conga line, dancing felines take to the streets, the fire escapes, and the rooftops in this charming concept picture book that is part counting and part introduction to music, dance, and rhythm. The short rhyming text makes it a perfect read-aloud treat, and with vivid illustrations from a breakout DreamWorks animator, readers and listeners alike will be thrilled to see what happens one night on Easy Street when a pair of cats start to groove to the beat.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Klassen’s eye-catching digitally rendered urban streetscapes resemble the sets of classic musical theater…The subtle charms of this lighter-than-air confection should delight young connoisseurs of dance and style. —School Library Journal

"the detailed cityscapes, hidden numbers, and appealing big-city cats will give little ones plenty to explore."—Booklist

"a comely counting book."—Kirkus

"...Klassen’s retro-looking illustrations of a posse of cool cats, in pale pink tuxedos and poodle skirts, are fun to look at. Lights dimly glow in the background from elegant French casements and alley tenements alike, as though the black, white and gray cats had the free run of the city."—New York Times, August 15th 2010

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"How many cats will dance tonight?" is a repeated refrain, as jaunty rhymed couplets trace the many cats in ever-fancier dress dancing Saturday night away in a wild variety of dances. On the way, across the double pages, we can practice counting by two's up to twenty. Two cats samba, four boogie, six tango, eight tap dance, and so they dance on in the city night. By the time twenty form a conga line, the neighbors have had enough and call a halt. The cats "slip off to sleep." But on Sunday night... Klassen creates an urban backdrop as a setting for the dancing felines. Roof ledges, fire escapes, tops of skylights, tree limbs from a park, all hold the small, almost tiny, paper-doll like dancers. The double-page illustrations are digitally produced in nighttime shades of grays and browns with assorted colored cats. The fun is in both text and pictures. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Publishers Weekly
What better way to illustrate the concept of counting by twos than with pairs of dancing cats? Newcomer Klassen’s subdued twilit cityscapes form an unexpectedly noir backdrop for the sprightly kitties, whose costumes depend on the dance (“Four cats boogie, rock to blues,/ in poodle skirts and saddle shoes”). Rows of darkened windows and brick walls are punctuated by fire escapes and hanging laundry, lit with a misty blend of starlight and streetlamps. The dependable rhythms of Stutson’s (Mama Loves You) verse are reflected in the faces of the dancers. With closed eyes and intent expressions, these hepcats take their work seriously, as they samba on rooftops, line dance on traffic lights, and polka in a city fountain. It continues until they are interrupted by shouts from cranky city dwellers: “ 'Cut it out!’ the neighbors shriek./ 'No more dancing on Easy Street!’ ” The cats’ eyes snap open in surprise and they slink off as the sun rises. This should confirm kids’ beliefs that all the best stuff happens after bedtime. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—This elegant book opens: "From the alley, music drifts./Shadows sway to a trumpet riff…." Klassen's eye-catching digitally rendered urban streetscapes resemble the sets of classic musical theater. Cats appear two by two; their costumes change with each dance. The first pair sambas in white; four cats boogie in poodle skirts and saddle shoes; six tango in red capes; and so on until 20 cats conga in splashy florals, plaids, and stripes. Ultimately, the sleepy neighbors appear and shout them down, with a "Cut it out!" The finely detailed illustrations feature a subdued palette of brown, gray, and charcoal enlivened by splashes of color. The subtle charms of this lighter-than-air confection should delight young connoisseurs of dance and style.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Sounds of jazz, blues, the twist and the tango drift through a city's streets as coupled cats cavort on a Saturday night. The cavalier kitties hop and hoof it across rooftops, multiplying in twos per couplet in Stutson's poem. Cool as cucumbers, the swaying pusses raptly dance, enchanting in their indifference to the sleeping metropolis. Klassen's muted color palette contains the warm glow of a cityscape-festive stringed lights, a brilliant marquee, lit windows sprinkled among darkened frames. His atmospheric illustrations have a Matisse-like papercut construction, and the digitally collaged artwork is lyrical with flowing compositions and lovely textural layering. As the story is about music and improvisation, the illustrator's use of shape and texture is similarly spontaneous. The weakness is in the text's integration with the illustrations, and it's unclear if the author intended certain lines to be broken apart or if the design demanded it. Playful and silly, the text takes readers from two to 20 cats; quibble aside, a comely counting book. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416940050
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date:
03/23/2010
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
417,828
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.24(h) x 0.43(d)
Lexile:
AD620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Caroline Stutson was born in New York City. She earned her B.A. in theater from the University of Denver and her degree in early childhood education from Metropolitan State College in Denver. A former kindergarten and reading teacher, Ms. Stutson now lives in Littleton, Colorado where she works as a puppeteer and storyteller at the Highlands Ranch Library.

Jon Klassen is a Canadian illustrator who lives in Los Angeles now. He works as an animator for DreamWorks, where he worked extensively on Coraline. He likes cats, in theory. Visit him BurstofBeaden.com.

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Cats' Night Out 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago