Now appearing in full color, Cat Count, originally published in b&w in 1981, gets a makeover from Betsy Lewin, who revisits her drawings and adds watercolor wash backgrounds to dazzling effect, especially as "Five cats. Jive cats. Very-much-alive cats" groove under a sparkly disco ball. There are 60 in all.
Inventive text and humorous illustrations make this counting book of cats a treat. We are introduced to felines, in ever growing numbers, with charming personalities and activities that wittily reflect their owners. Sister's "glee cats" look theatrical in top hat, bows, balloons and glitter. Preacher's nine cats are "fine cats, really just divine cats, never out-of-line cats." Teacher's eight cats sit properly at their desks while one latecomer apprehensively finds his seat. Lewin writes with a clever economy of words. She throws in punchy, smart turns of phrase and word combinations such as "fiddling-with-sticks cats" and "chasing-duck-and-hen cats." The illustrations, in a gentle pallet of watercolors, show playful and intelligent animals actively living and enjoying life through play, work, singing, dance, roughhousing and being together. Toddlers will enjoy the amusing pictures and the rhythmic, rhyming text. Older children can exercise their addition skills: one cat plus two cats plus three cats, etc. until there are "too many cats." 2003 (orig. 1981), Henry Holt and Company,
PreS-Gr 2-Originally published in black and white (Dodd, Mead, 1981; o.p.), this full-color version of a counting book glows with warmth and visual humor. Beginning with one very fat feline, the narrator enumerates an ever-growing list of pets that belong to family members and friends. The simple text is filled with rhyme and rhythm: "My brother has two./Two cats,/True cats,/Wild and ballyhoo cats,/Full-of-derring-do cats." The accompanying spread shows these animals in action, one riding a unicycle and the other decked out in a pink tutu, walking across a tightrope. There is a sister with three cats dressed for a party, an uncle with four felines that live in a store, and a cousin with five "Jive cats" that play jazz instruments and dance beneath the moon. Here the progression pauses, the animals are added, and all 15 are grouped together for easy tallying. The count then continues up to 10, culminating in another illustration that incorporates all 55 felines. As a final surprise, the first fat cat has five kittens, adding up to "Too many cats." The loose, pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoons perfectly match the lighthearted tone of the text. From the title page, which shows an amusing rear-end view of three kitties with tails proudly held aloft, to the action-filled group scenes, Lewin perfectly captures the elegant postures and mischievous nature of these self-assured creatures. A fun choice for cat lovers and children who are building their math skills.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Reissue of a 1981 title (originally published by Dodd, Mead), given a larger trim size and illustrations that are redrawn, colored versions of the originals. It's a counting rhyme and addition problem in one: "My uncle has four. / Four cats. / Store cats. / In-and-out-of-door cats. / I know someone with more cats. / My cousin has five," and so on, up to ten. Depicting a growing horde of expressively drawn, comically cross-eyed felines, Lewin pauses occasionally to tote them all up (in the original, readers were challenged to do this on their own), then belatedly concludes that there are "TOO MANY CATS!" when her own fat one suddenly produces kittens. The bouncy rhyme makes a fine and funny read-aloud, and both cat-lovers and compulsive young counters will linger happily over the ever-more-populous pictures. (Picture book. 6-8)