Pet That Cat: A Handbook for Making Feline Friends by Nigel Kidd and Rachel Braunigan,  illustrated by Susann Hoffmann

Pet That Cat: A Handbook for Making Feline Friends by Nigel Kidd and Rachel Braunigan,  illustrated by Susann Hoffmann. Quirk Books, Penguin Random House, 2022. 9781683693147

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: ARC (publication July, 2022)

What did you like about the book?  This adorable manual for prospective cat owners combines sound advice, a bit of history and trivia, and very fetching illustrations. In the opening chapter called “How to pet that cat”, the authors explain in great detail how to approach, touch, and pick up a cat, working a lot of useful information into this short section. Sashaying through cat history, the experts then move into cat care and picking a good name for your pet. The book is nicely laid out, with short chapters, plenty of white space, clear headings, chatty asides from the authors, and lots of simple, cute line drawings showing diverse kids all enjoying their pets. The book even tackles problems: cat declawing, feral cats, and keeping cats indoors. The book concludes with a quiz (“What’s your cat’s personality?”), a cat tracker to keep track of your sightings (cat in a bookstore, cat on a leash, Persian cat, etc.) and a short bibliography.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Presumably the published version will include full color illustrations; the ARC did not. The quiz and checklist might prove tempting for library borrowers with pencils.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Readers ages 6-12 considering (or convincing parents of acquiring) a new pet or those who already own a cat and want background information.  The short, clear prose makes this book accessible and appealing. I know kids are often attracted to showier books about pets (full of glossy photographs), but this one seems much more useful.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? 636.8

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?

Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: March 19, 2022

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