Matilda’s Cat by Emily Gravett
Matilda thinks her cat loves to do a lot of things. But really, it’s Matilda who loves playing with wool, climbing in boxes, and riding bikes. All of those things scare her cat. It’s Matilda who loves tea parties, hats, and swords. She loves drawing pictures, climbing trees and reading bedtime stories. And she does it all dressed in her cat costume. At the end of the book, Matilda has crossed off all of the things she likes because her cat doesn’t like them and made a huge list of everything her cat does NOT like. But there is one thing her cat does like after all, Matilda!
Gravett excels at creating quirky and marvelous picture books for children. Here she captures the reaction of a cat perfectly on the page, his ears back and his eyes wide with worry. The text is at first a list of everything that the cat should like, but then the lists clearly turn to what the little girl enjoys instead. Through it all, the cat’s concern is the same but it is still inquisitive enough to stay around Matilda and all of her activity.
The simple text lets the illustrations tell the real story and the real reaction of the cat. It was a great choice to have Matilda look very much like her cat, so the two show different reactions to the activities. The illustrations pop against the large amount of white space, making this a book that could happily be shared with a group, since it read aloud well.
A great pick for reading at story time or units about pets or cats, this picture book is another winner from Gravett. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy received from Simon and Schuster.