Friday, December 21, 2012

Castaway Cats

Castaway Cats
By Lisa Wheeler; illustrated by Ponder Goembel
32 pages, ages 4 and up
Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2006

“On an island / in the ocean / near the land of Singapore,
midst a storm of great proportion,
fifteen cats were washed ashore.”

So begins Lisa Wheeler’s saga of shipwrecked cats – cats that, now stranded, must learn to sink or swim. Together. And that turns out to be as hard as … herding cats.

The rhymes are engaging and, if you’re up to singing, can accompany the tune “Oh My Darlin’ Clementine”. Every now and then Wheeler breaks the rhyme with a couplet that, not only furthers the story, but presents a mathematical relationship. For example:
“Fifteen cats by tempest blown –
Seven babes and eight full grown.”

The cats do not get along. They have … cat fights. But eventually they find a way to work together and, when escape becomes possible, decide to remain together, living on the island.

This is a fun book to read. In addition to math facts, there are delicious puns scattered through the pages.  Review copy from my bookshelf.

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