cat tale

Cat Tale by Michael Hall

This is an exceptional picture book that I’m not sure I will be able to explain well enough.  If I bungle this, just take my word for it that this is a book you want to get your hands on.  Told in a rollicking verse, this is the story of three cats: Lillian, Tilly and William J.   The three of them head out on some adventures that are driven by the words in the lines.  I think it will work best if I just pull a few of the early verses:

They pack some books and kitty chews.

They choose a spot.

They spot some ewes.

They use a box to hide from bees.

And so it goes on, each line pulling the last word from the line before to create a new situation.  But even better, these are homophones rather than the exact same word.  Best of all, the story is fun and engaging.  This is word play at its best.

Hall has also created engaging artwork to go along with his playful verse.  Done in bright colors and big shapes, the art has an appealing texture.  Created from acrylic paint and paper cut outs that were combined digitally, it is eye-catching and cheerful.

Bravo for a book that invites children to look closely at the words they are reading and just may be the best way ever to introduce homophones to children.  Appropriate for a variety of ages.  Younger children will enjoy the art and verse while slightly older children will understand the word play best.

Reviewed from library copy.