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That Cat Can't Stay

( 4 )

Overview

Narrated by a cat-loving little girl, this story is a hysterical romp through a family's pet adoption dilemma. Poor Dad does not like cats, and he voices his opposition to the steady stream of stray cats that always seem to wind up on his doorstep—thanks to a cat-loving Mom who wants to save every stray she finds. In an effort to win Dad over, the little girl hides a tiny stray kitten in her hood and convinces Dad to just give it one small squeeze. Dad manages, with trepidation, to stick out his ...

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Overview

Narrated by a cat-loving little girl, this story is a hysterical romp through a family's pet adoption dilemma. Poor Dad does not like cats, and he voices his opposition to the steady stream of stray cats that always seem to wind up on his doorstep—thanks to a cat-loving Mom who wants to save every stray she finds. In an effort to win Dad over, the little girl hides a tiny stray kitten in her hood and convinces Dad to just give it one small squeeze. Dad manages, with trepidation, to stick out his pinkie and pet the creature. But now that five cats have taken over his favorite chair, he becomes desperate and makes a visit to the pound. Dad returns happily with a big, fat puppy—everyone gets something that they want. With hilarious ink and watercolor illustrations, this picture book demonstrates the resourcefulness, love, and compromises of a pet-loving family.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this light comedy, the creators of I Always, ALWAYS Get My Way again spotlight family dynamics. Energetic rhymed couplets relay how Mom and kids repeatedly bring home stray cats, driving Dad crazy. With each new arrival, he launches into a chorus of reasons why he doesn't like cats (“They scratch my knees./ They carry fleas./ They make me sneeze./ They're always getting stuck in trees”) and decrees that the stray must go. After tactically agreeing with her husband, manipulative Mom describes what dreadful fate will befall the feline if they don't take it in, and Dad reluctantly relents, still insisting, futilely, “that cat can't stay.” Parkins's high-spirited cartoons depict animals and humans with amusingly exaggerated facial expressions, especially the exasperated father who, with his multiple tantrums and ever-present shorts and sneakers, far more resembles an overgrown toddler than a patriarch. While the verse veers into doggerel territory in its bounciness (“I see you do not want this pet/ though he might get completely wet”), the buffoonlike father's antics should prove kid-pleasing. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Muddy Puddle Musings blog

This is a purr-fect read-aloud for any family that finds that they too seem to collect animals. I'd even recommend it happily to dog lovers.

Kid Lit Blog

This one's a real winner. I want to read it aloud—to my class, to my grandkids, to my friends.

From the Publisher
"This light comedy . . . spotlight[s] family dynamics. Energetic rhymed couplets relay how Mom and kids repeatedly bring home stray cats, driving Dad crazy . . . spirited cartoons depict animals and humans with amusingly exaggerated facial expressions . . . The buffoonlike father's antics should prove kid-pleasing."  —Publishers Weekly

"This book expertly combines a comic, rhyming text with hilarious cartoon illustrations to create a completely enjoyable romp."  —School Library Journal

"That Cat Can't Stay [is] an absolutely adorable book and exactly how the Viorsts once wound up with four cats."  —Judith Viorst

"Parkins visualizes this comic opera with cartoon-like pen and ink and watercolor illustrations of cartoon-like characters displaying exaggerated behavior. Dad in particular is portrayed in lively vignettes."  —Children's Literature

"He may rant and rave, but ultimately this softhearted dad lets the strays stay. David Parkins' hilariously detailed pictures add to the fun and the surprise ending."  —Baltimore's Child

"This is a funny book with a riotous rhyming text and illustrations . . . that seem to leap right off the glossy white pages in visual hyperbole. It makes a great read-aloud. In fact, once you've read it, you'll long for the chance to share it orally. Even if you don't like cats this book will tickle you." —Puget Sound Council

"This is a rhyming picture book about our love affair with animals—a book for reading together, but it easily opens discussions about what we like/dislike, getting along, flexibility, and being open to change."  —The Reading Tub.com

"The rollicking rhyming tale with its comical pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations is an enjoyable read-aloud for pet lovers."  —Horn Book

San Francisco Review of Books & Sacramento Review of Books
A joy to read aloud
MyShelf.com
David Parkins does a wonderful job of creating engaging expressions for both cats and people. The lively rhyme and comic illustrations are sure to make readers giggle, and the poor, kind-hearted dad certainly deserves the happy ending he gets.
Children's Literature
Parkins visualizes this comic opera with cartoon-like pen and ink and watercolor illustrations of cartoon-like characters displaying exaggerated behavior. Dad in particular is portrayed in lively vignettes
Baltimore's Child
He may rant and rave, but ultimately this softhearted dad lets the strays stay. David Parkins' hilariously detailed pictures add to the fun and the surprise ending.
OC Family blog
[An]inventive tale that will bring your family together—with the cat OR dog—for a laugh and a smile.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Mom and the kids love cats, but Dad is dead set against them. In clever rhymed couplets, Dad makes his opposition clear. But when Mom brings in a stray from the rain "... Next it is a calico." Each time Dad is adamant, adding another reason to his determined opposition, and: "That cat can't stay!" But as Mom brings home cat after cat, and our young narrator adds another, Dad cannot seem to make them go. Finally, perhaps in self-defense, he adds a dog to the houseful of five cats. Parkins visualizes this comic opera with cartoon-like pen and ink and watercolor illustrations of cartoon-like characters displaying exaggerated behavior. Dad in particular is portrayed in lively vignettes acting out his aversions to each new arrival. And, of course, each cat has a way of making itself welcome. You do not have to love cats to enjoy this romp. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—This book expertly combines a comic, rhyming text with hilarious cartoon illustrations to create a completely enjoyable romp. Poor Dad is no match for clever Mom, a cat lover who manages to finagle not one, not two, not three, but FOUR cats into the household. One by one she brings them home and uses guile to convince her husband to keep them, just for a while. Each time he objects with a long-winded diatribe about why the cat can't stay, and still she finds a way to tug at his conscience. ("'You're right again,' Mom said to Dad, 'and I won't cry or get too sad, just thinking of this little cat and how a car might squish her flat.'") Of course, the kids get into the act, putting on their cute little pouty faces that silently beg "pleeeease." The text reads smoothly throughout and is peppered with wonderfully expressive words such as "Vamoose!" and "scourge." Still, the book wouldn't be as good without the large cartoon watercolor and ink illustrations that simply beg to be pored over for every comical detail. Of particular note are Dad's priceless facial expressions that transform from stern to defeated in a few short steps. With a repetitive refrain that makes for a great read-aloud, this book is the cat's meow for children young and old.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
There's nothing cats love more than someone who doesn't love them. That's just one of the truisms that show up in this predictable pet tale. There's also the father-as-fool, the manipulative mom and the clever kids who collude in her efforts to keep a series of rescued cats. Said cats are found on a rainy day, rescued from a parking lot and picked up on the way home from school, among other things, and while there's a brief mention of posting notices to find the original owner for one poor puss, in general their adoptions don't seem to include much consideration of where they came from. Instead the focus is on the father's increasingly absurd objections, played for laughs as silly tantrums. Parkins's cartoonish exaggerations are generally appealing, but his depiction of the father in shorts and striped shirts enhances his depiction as a childish figure. Laborious rhymes and excessive repetition make this difficult to read aloud, and the revelation at the end that Dad prefers dogs won't surprise savvy listeners. Not a keeper. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780979974656
  • Publisher: Flashlight Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,134,267
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: 390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Thad Krasnesky is a writer, an instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and the author of I Always, ALWAYS Get My Way. He lives in West Point, New York. David Parkins is the illustrator of more than 80 books and anthologies, including Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble; Fly Traps!; I Always, ALWAYS Get My Way; No Problem; and Webster J. Duck. He lives in Landsdowne, Ontario.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 17, 2013

    Wonderful read for all ages

    My granddaughter's preschool teacher read this book in class. My granddaughter absolutely loved it and brought it home for her mother to read (multiple times). I bought it for her 5th birthday so she could have her own. It was the best present she got. Everyone at her party also read it with great reviews.
    The story is adorable with a little twist at the end. The illustrations were great.
    Would definitely recommend this to any animal lover reader out there. You won't be disappointed.

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  • Posted January 14, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    That Cat Can't Stay is the perfect blend of story, illustration and message. It is one of the best children's books I've read in a long time and I know I'll read it again many times. It made me laugh while incidentally making me think about the benefits of rescue. There is a sense of fun throughout the book which grabs the reader and doesn't let go.

    The story is told in wonderful rhyming couplets that beg to be read aloud. The father in the story is an easy-going guy who doesn't like cats, which he tells his family at every opportunity. But his wife and children keep finding stray cats who need a home. Every time a new cat appears Dad goes through his reasons for not liking cats. And with each cat the reasons become more elaborate. His wife totally agrees with him but by the end of her agreeing the cat has a new home.

    Five cats later we get a surprise. "That week, Dad said, "Look what I found all sad and lonely at the pound." And we were happy to discover." You'll have to read the book to learn what the family discovered.

    What makes this a perfect book is not the vibrant writing alone but the superb ink and watercolor cartoons by David Parkins. He catches exactly the right note to go with the action of Krasnesky's rhymes. His illustrations of Dad mimicking feline expressions as he tells anyone who will listen why the cat can't stay are priceless. His facial expressions quickly go from stern to bemused to defeated to happy. He also catches the changes of emotion in the mother and children as one cat after another teeters between being thrown out in the cold and staying in their home. Parkins and Krasnesky should continue to collaborate because they obviously on the same wave length.

    That Cat Can't Stay should be in every library and used frequently at story hours. The words roll off the tongue when it is read aloud and the pictures will make everyone laugh. It also should be in every cat lover's library whether child or adult. It's a book to be read often or whenever you need a lift.

    - N. Marano

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Adorable

    The story and illustrations are fun, fun, fun. Children will begin repeating the words of the father in the story as the book progresses. This is definitely an animal lover's delight. And it looks to become an award winning book.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Rhyme and Reason: A PURRRfect Combo

    Flashlight Press' newest illustrated picture book, That Cat Can't Stay, by Thad Krasnesky, is a delightful read-aloud that could very well have you giggling all the way to the pound to adopt a cat of your own. Using reverse psychology, Mom cleverly convinces Dad to allow a stray cat (or four?) to stay for a spell. But how many felines can one family feasibly find? Reminiscent of the whimsical works by Dr. Seuss, this book's lyrical style will undoubtedly capture and engage its little listeners; the repetitious rhyme will find them as curious as a cat to see how this tale ends. Whether you like the little fur-balls or not, the PURRfectly eye-catching, authentic illustrations by David Parkins will endear themselves as they bring this CATchy story to life. Why not check out this book; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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