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Where Is Catkin?

Where Is Catkin?

by Janet Lord, Julie Paschkis (Illustrator)

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Author Janet Lord's simple, satisfying story of a mischievous cat is richly portrayed in Julie Paschkis's gorgeous illustrations that celebrate the patterns and shapes founds in nature.


Author Janet Lord's simple, satisfying story of a mischievous cat is richly portrayed in Julie Paschkis's gorgeous illustrations that celebrate the patterns and shapes founds in nature.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sisters Lord and Paschkis (Albert the Fix-It Man) team up again, this time for a search-and-find story about a honey-colored cat whose hunting skills are not all they might be. Skillful use of repetition (“Catkin hops... Cricket hops deep into the grass”; “Catkin leaps... Frog leaps into the pond”) and offbeat animal noises (“Kerik-kerik” for the cricket, “Garrump” for the frog) move the story forward, but it's in essence a series of observations—there's little suspense. Paschkis's bright, peasant-style illustrations bring cheery liveliness to Catkin's world; they're a bit like the art Wanda Gág might have produced had four-color printing been available to her. Stylized borders run along the top and bottom of each page, showing simple silhouettes of the animals Catkin pursues. Between the borders, Catkin chases his prey through a tapestry of curling leaves and waving grasses (readers are directed to find the animals within the vegetation, and several make repeat appearances). In the end, Catkin becomes the pursued, as his owner, Amy, seeks him out. The story will entertain very young children, and the artwork will absorb them. Ages 2–6. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
This third outing from the sisterly team of Lord and Paschkis is a visual feast for young readers. For Amy's golden cat, it is time to hunt. As he slinks through the pages, he sees the creatures that fill his backyard habitat-cricket, frog, mouse, snake and bird-but all elude capture. The author gives readers a chance to guess what animal that Catkin is stalking with onomatopoeic clues to accompany the visual ones. A turn of the page reveals the answer in the text and, for observant readers, in the picture. The last few pages are a seek-and-find dream for children, with Catkin searching all around and not finding the five animals. In frustration, he climbs a tree for a better view, which is where Amy finds him. Paschkis's black-backgrounded folk-art illustrations fill the pages with vibrant colors and simple, stylized shapes-the ideal backdrop for hiding the small creatures that Catkin hunts. The gorgeous red-and-yellow borders are a cumulative collection of the animals. Lovely. (Picture book. 2-6)
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Young
Catkin, a rather large orange and white cat, leaps from the safety of Amy's lap and begins his hunting expedition. He prowls through the grass, dips his paw into the pond, sneaks off by the shed, races through the rocks and pounces in a tree—all because he hears noises and senses there are things to catch. Fortunately for the critters, Catkin is too late to snare them and everyone is safe. Where did they all go? To get a better look Catkin climbs to the highest branch in a nearby tree. However, curiosity gets the best of this cat and he soon realizes he has climbed too high. Meow! Amy traces Catkins' path and finally joins him on the branch, snug as can be. Paschkis's illustrations are vibrant, clear, and reminiscent of Pennsylvania Dutch artistry. The two-tone borders hold images from the previous pages and it is certainly appropriate to assist Catkin in his pursuits in finding what he is hunting for. Able to hold the attention of most, this will be a repeat request for many preschoolers and hopefully the collaboration of these two sisters (author and illustrator) will continue for many years and stories. Reviewer: Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
Pres-Gr 1—Catkin is on the prowl, ever alert to the sounds and movements that intrigue cats so much. Young children will delight in finding the critters hidden in Paschkis's eye-popping, folk-style artwork before the calico does, and they will enjoy imitating the sounds each animal makes. As the story progresses, Paschkis also includes stylized images of each creature in the bright orange and yellow borders on each spread, another opportunity for young ones to search, point, and name. Lord's story line includes predictable text that can help children tell the story and describes the various ways the feline moves. "Catkin creeps/explores/hops/jumps/leaps/races/pounces" serves as an invitation to youngsters to act out the subtle differences in the verbs. There are so many ways to engage with this book that multiple readings are in order.—Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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