Review: Cats Are a Liquid by Rebecca Donnelly

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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.