Tuesday, January 31, 2017

THE SUMMER NICK TAUGHT HIS CATS TO READ by Curtis Manley.  Illus. by Kate Berube.  New York: Simon & Schuster Books, 2016.  32p.  ISBN 978-1481-435697 hc. $17.99    PreS - Gr. 2     E PIC

Nick and his cats, with the literary names of Verne and Stevenson, were inseparable over the summer.  They played games together, took naps, and worked on projects.  The one thing they couldn't do together was to read.  Nick liked reading, but the cats preferred other activities; so Nick tried to teach them to read.  He made a breakthrough with Verne, but Stevenson was not cooperative.  With persistence on Nick's part, he finally discovered that Stevenson liked adventure books and going on his own adventures.  Nick's quest to work on reading with his cats reminds readers of the everyday struggles many parents have with their children... and teachers with their students.  Finding just the right book for each student is a challenge and takes considerable effort.  This story is made even better by the watercolor illustrations featuring "Charlie Brown" faces that are always askew, but relay the perfect expression for each situation.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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