Five Creatures


Three humans and two cats.

Five creatures live in our house.
Three humans, and two cats.

Three short, and two tall.

Four grownups, and one child (that's me!).

In this book of lighthearted comparisons,...

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Three humans and two cats.

Five creatures live in our house.
Three humans, and two cats.

Three short, and two tall.

Four grownups, and one child (that's me!).

In this book of lighthearted comparisons, simple text and warm pictures work together to depict various scenes in a happy household where each member is distinct but also has something inn common with one or more of the others. The fun comes from sorting out the similarities and the differences.

Emily Jenkins is a freelance writer, critic, and book reviewer. She is also the author of a book for adults and co-author of a children's book, The Secret Life of Billie's Uncle Myron. She lives in New York City. Tomek Bogacki's previous books for young readers include the Cat and Mouse books and My First Garden. He was born in Poland and now lives in New York City.

In words and pictures, a girl describes the three humans and two cats that live in her house, and details some of the traits that they share.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Three people and two cats form a cozy quintet in this volume, in which Jenkins (The Secret Life of Billie's Uncle Myron) playfully appraises a family's varied talents and tastes just the way a child learning to count might do. A girl, the diminutive version of her red-haired mother, does the accounting. She notices that of the "five creatures" in her family, there are "Four who like to eat fish.... Two who like to eat mice. Only one who likes to eat beets." A dinnertime image reveals each individual's preferences; purple vegetables fill the narrator's white plate, while the cats monitor a telltale hole in the wall. Round-the-clock glimpses of the household show "One who sings loud late at night" (a charcoal-gray cat in a moonlit window) and "one who sings in the morning" (the girl's father, standing over the sink in his striped pajamas). When her father falls asleep on the couch with the cats, the girl lists "Three who nap with the Sunday newspaper." She sits nearby, imitating her bookworm mother by flipping through a picture book: "Two who can read, and one who is learning." Bogacki (The Bird, the Monkey, and the Snake in the Jungle) suggests contentment with a subdued palette of autumn orange, sea green and creamy, pale yellow. His tranquil illustrations provide clues to Jenkins's narrative, which encourages deductive reasoning. Jenkins smoothly weaves logical analysis into a narrative that exudes warmth, and the book concludes with a gentle scene of togetherness: "Five who sit together in the evening by the fire." Ages 3-6. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-A lighthearted look at a family from different viewpoints. The five members of the household, both human and feline, share many traits with one another while maintaining their individuality. The narrator (and only child in the group) sorts the five by their various commonalities from hair color to leisure activities to food preferences. "Three who like to hide in boxes./Four who have a knack with yarn." Although the illustrations in pastel colors seem a little lackluster at first, readers will be drawn in by their soft, gentle flow from scene to scene and the portrait they combine to create of a warm and loving family. Primary-grade teachers will find this a wonderful accompaniment when teaching grouping and Venn diagrams as it will allow them to assist students in making real-life connections to mathematical concepts. Children will simply enjoy it for the good story that it is.-Sheryl L. Shipley, North Central Local Schools, Pioneer, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Child Magazine
A Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick

Inside a little girl's house live five creatures -- three humans and two cats. Mix-and-match descriptions ("Two who like to eat mice. Only one who likes to eat beets") add up to loads of fun.

Kirkus Reviews
Shared and distinct traits appear in the five creatures in Jenkins's household—two adults, a young girl, and two cats. Bogacki (My First Garden, 2000, etc.) uses a fish-eye perspective and a schoolchild's elementary expressiveness to give these comparisons a decidedly mellow, soft-focus feel. "Four who like to eat fish. Three who like to drink milk, one who's allergic, and one who only has it in coffee. Two who like to eat mice. Only one who likes to eat beets." The comparisons fluidly shift back and forth, including adult with child, or child with cat, or any combination that fits. There are even those shared if dissimilar tastes: "Five who love birds . . . but not all in the same way." There are touches of humor: apparently one of the cats can open the cupboard door, and it's the cats and adults who can climb on high stools. The book has an appealing way of inviting the reader in, allowing for moments of identification: "Two who can read, and one who is learning" or "three who don't like taking baths." And it is also good fun to chart the action of the text; it's not always who you'd think who gets included or left out of the mix. A great introduction to Venn diagramming, but fun enough to start folks grouping on their own. (Picture book. 3-6)
From the Publisher
"A little girl contemplates the relationships among the five members of her family . . . She begins with similarities in appearance - 'three with orange hair' (mother, child, one cat) . . . then moves on to more idiosyncratic groups: 'one who can crawl under the fridge' . . . What emerges is a cozy portrait of two cats and three people who make up one loving family." —Starred, The Horn Book

"This clever, multi-layered book is as much for sharing and getting little ones on the path to deductive reasoning as it is for reading." —Starred, Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374423285
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 3/10/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 457,762
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.83 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Emily Jenkins and Tomek Bogacki have also collaborated on Daffodil. Both author and illustrator live in New York City.

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