Top Cat

Top Cat

5.0 1
by Lois Ehlert
     
 

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There's a new kitten in the house. Can he and top cat be friends? Top Cat rules the house until an unexpected box from the humane society arrives with someone new - and cute - inside. At first, top cat doesn't want to share his house and favorite things, but soon he learns that two cats can be lots more fun than one. Lois Ehlert's collage illustrations capture the

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Overview

There's a new kitten in the house. Can he and top cat be friends? Top Cat rules the house until an unexpected box from the humane society arrives with someone new - and cute - inside. At first, top cat doesn't want to share his house and favorite things, but soon he learns that two cats can be lots more fun than one. Lois Ehlert's collage illustrations capture the amusing antics of Top Cat and his spunky sidekick in this romping read-aloud.

Lois Ehlert is the author and illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including Hands, an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, a New York Public Library's Top 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing selection, a Booklist Editors' Choice, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, and a National Parenting Publications Award winner. Ms. Ehlert lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Sure to tickle funny bones."-Booklist
"Irresistible."-Kirkus Reviews
"Children and other feline fans will quickly warm to this spunky story of rivalry and acceptance."-Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Top cat" is just that--the pet who rules the roost. That is, until a striped kitten arrives on the scene. Angry and jealous at first, the older cat hisses and bites, letting the new arrival know who's boss. But once the cat realizes the kitten is a permanent addition to the household, it makes the best of a difficult situation and becomes mentor to the fluffy newcomer. Lessons ensue: how to leave fur on the couch, chew on the houseplants, chase birds and "drink from the sink when company's there." With the knowing tone of a true cat lover, Ehlert's (Hands; Color Zoo) rhymed couplets accurately describe the common--often naughty--habits of house cats, and cat owners will nod in recognition at her scenarios. Visually, Ehlert creates a memorable cat duo in her trademark cut-paper collage style. Using pulpy, textured paper saturated with color, she assembles crisp shapes into forms exuding purr-sonality. On nearly every page she also includes sound effects, printed in small red letters, to accompany the cats' actions ("chomp," "swish," "scritch") and background noises (birdcalls, clanking silverware, etc.). Children and other feline fans will quickly warm to this spunky story of rivalry and acceptance. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature
Ehlert returns to the few-word, large type, rhymed fun of Feathers for Lunch (Harcourt, 1990) to tell a story of how confrontation yields to cooperation when a new kitten arrives in the household of an established cat. In her medium of choice, collage, she uses a wide range of brightly colored materials. She represents her animals by abstracting key body parts and combining them into evocative poses. Her clean-cut, boldly patterned and textured, almost geometric shapes still convey "cat."
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
Top Cat is in charge. He guards the house and rules the roost and doesn't like it when a small gray-striped interloper threatens his status. First he makes sure the kitten knows who is boss and then he instructs the little cat in household behavior. Lessons are given in all those habits feline pets indulge in which drive their owners to distraction. Habits which are annoying, yet somehow endearing at the same time, such as eating plants until they are bare, drinking from the sink when visitors are watching and leaving hair all over the sofa. This is typical kitty behavior and the kitten is a good student. A humorous story, cleverly illustrated, providing a light-hearted approach to the issue of new baby jealousy experienced by an older sibling. Top Cat is a delightful book that is sure to coax a chuckle from anyone who has ever had a cat, or two, around the house.1998, Harcourt Brace, Ages 3 to 7, $16.00. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
PreS-Ehlert has a way with collage. In one double-page illustration a cat with its hackles raised bristles beautifully. Sad to say, the story line is so poorly expressed that the book might have been better without a text. "Go away, cat! You've invaded my space. And I don't like your cute little face" does nothing to convey the feelings of a cat whose favorite chair has been usurped by a kitten. The inevitable reconciliation between the two felines comes about more because the requisite number of pages have been filled than because of any development in the animals' relationship. This topic has been treated so well by so many talented authors and illustrators including Charlotte Voake in Ginger (Candlewick, 1997) that Ehlert's addition to the canon is truly superfluous.-Miriam Lang Budin, Mt. Kisco Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
An irresistible offering from Ehlert (Hands, 1997, etc.) that portrays a cat who is king of the hill, in glorious collage illustrations. A terse, rhythmic text describes the situation: "I'm top cat. Pet me, I'll purr. I guard this place in my coat of fur." He has a dull existence, but boredom fades when a mysterious box arrives, stamped "Humane Society." "Who let you in? One cat's enough. I don't want to share my stuff." A striped kitten joins the household, too cute for the top cat's taste; nevertheless, he stops harassing the kitten and enlists it in an initiation to mischief. Some of the papers chosen and the way they are painted achieve uncanny approximations of the coloring and textures of cats; that Ehlert so expertly portrays line and expression in this medium only confirms her talent. The rollicking prose demands swift turns of the page, but the pages themselves offer plenty to linger over. (Picture book. 3-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152024253
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
36
Sales rank:
377,298
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.17(d)
Lexile:
120L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Sure to tickle funny bones."-Booklist
"Irresistible."-Kirkus Reviews
"Children and other feline fans will quickly warm to this spunky story of rivalry and acceptance."-Publishers Weekly

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