Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Simon, Seymour. 2004. Cats. New York: Harper Collins Publishers ISBN 0060289406

A brief history of cats is given along with basic knowledge on the physical characteristics of cats and on their care and raising and breeds.

Critical Analysis
Simon's Cats gives younger readers the opportunity to explore the world of cats without being overwhelming with too much information. Large, colorful photographs are used to illustrate the facts, which younger readers will find easy to understand as the information is written with only one topic discussed per page of the text. Facts can be verified with additional research within the non-fiction animal section of a school or public library.
Cats will appeal to the junior high age also, especially as the text and font are not elementary in style. Language flows easily from topic to topic; allowing one to read a page, put the book down, and return later without losing any continuity. Struggling readers will appreciate the concise information given on one page, making research easier.
Without showing any biases, Simon gives readers time to think about owning a cat by asking questions at the end of the book such as : "Do you have enough room for a cat's food dish, water dish, and litter box?" or "Can your family make arrangements to take care of the cat if you go away for many days on a trip?"
Seymour Simon's Cats is an informational read that is easy to understand and a pleasure for cat lovers with its wonderful photos of elegant cats.

Review Excerpt
from Booklist: "There are other books about these popular pets, but most are for older children. Here, Simon writes crisply for a young audience, who will eagerly turn the pages to see the next endearing color photograph...Simon's always lucid prose is matched by sharp photos, most of which fill up the pages. An attractive way to introduce children to nonfiction."

Guide children to read more of Seymour Simon's nonfiction books.
Invite children to bring in photos of their own pets to display on a bulletin board.
Read a nonfiction Simon book and pair it with a matching fiction book.
Connect literature with other curriculum areas; pair nonfiction with topic in science or social studies.

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