Cats Are a Liquid by Rebecca Donnelly, illustrated by Misa Saburi (9781250206596)
Based on a scientific paper, this picture book shows the various ways that cats act like both liquids and solids throughout their day. They go limp and drip when picked up. They flow downhill. They fill any container they are placed in, whether boxes or beakers. They flop and drop to the floor. But they also can shred and tear at times, and go stiff when they see a tempting feather float by. Told in simple language that gets readers seeing cats as watery creatures, this picture book celebrates everything feline.
The lines of text in this book are short with lots of rhyming that avoids becoming sing-songy by playing with internal rhymes too. There is a wonderful jauntiness to the tone of the book, wondering aloud at what cats truly are and how different they are from other forms of matter. I firmly believe that cats are fluids, but non-newtonian ones. The book ends with information on forms of matter as well as a recipe for oobleck.
The art here is simple and accessible, almost in the style of popular cat collection apps for cell phones. The cats are varied and marvelous in their liquid and solid states, whether mesmerized by snowfall or avoiding a bath.
A clever scientific look at the splendor of cats. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from library copy.
Fred’s Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers by Laura Renauld, illustrated by Brigette Barrager (9781534441224)
This picture book biography offers a glimpse into the childhood of Mister Rogers along with a look at how he created his legendary program for children. Fred grew up a shy boy whose asthma kept him indoors. He found a way to express himself through music by playing the piano. In 1951, Fred saw children’s television and realized that he could perhaps use this new medium to explain to them how special they really are. By 1954, Fred had his first TV show on a local community-supported channel. It was done live and mainly improvised. In 1968, the first Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired with Fred Rogers as the host and his message of acceptance, community and compassion.
This bright and cheery look at Mister Rogers and his impact on children’s television lets readers see how a shy and quiet child transformed into a man speaking before Congress and creating a program that will be remembered by all who watched it. The illustrations are full of life with bright colors erupting from the television and inspiring young viewers. Several of Mister Rogers’ most notable episodes are also captured on the page.
Another winning Mister Roger’s picture book that is worth tuning in for. Appropriate for ages 5-7.
Reviewed from copy provided by Simon & Schuster.