Reviews for Cat the Cat, Who Is That?

Booklist Reviews 2010 March #2
Along with Let's Say Hi to Friends Who Fly (2010), this upbeat title introduces young children to a new cast of animal pals. In large, bold type well-suited for brand-new readers, a narrator asks the title's question as winsome Cat the Cat, in a sporty purple dress, says hello to her friends, whose greetings, printed in speech balloons, give a little glimpse into each new character's personality. Mouse the Mouse is straightforward ("Hello there!"), Duck the Duck is a bit formal ("A pleasure, as always!"), and Fish the Fish is surfer-cool ("Hey, dude!"). Then Cat the Cat runs into a many-armed alien, who is busily building a tower of blocks, and the text's easy, back-and-forth rhythm screeches to a halt: "Cat the Cat, who is THAT?" asks the narrator. "I have no idea," is Cat's wary answer, until she recognizes the adorable stranger as "a NEW friend!" Once again, Willems avoids heavy messages and walks right into kids' daily lives with this exuberant, clean-lined, animation-ready title that's sure to widen his already vast fan base.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
In That, Cat the Cat happily introduces her many friends--Mouse the Mouse, Duck the Duck, Fish the Fish--to readers. In Fly, she meets all sorts of flying animals. Most of the words are sight words or are easily decoded. Bright colors, funny situations, and a cameo appearance by a certain Pigeon will keep readers captivated and amused. [Review covers these Cat the Cat titles: Cat the Cat, Who Is That? and Let's Say Hi to Friends Who Fly!] Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #3
Elephant and Piggie, move over! Willems presents a new series for even newer readers. In the first installment, Cat the Cat, clad in her pinkish-purple dress, greets her many friends -- Mouse the Mouse, Duck the Duck, Fish the Fish -- and happily introduces them to the reader. At each meeting, the friends exchange a few words, and Cat bounces on. With simple phrasing and speech bubbles, Willems tells a story of enjoying old friends and making new ones, even when the new friend is from out of this world. (This little twist at the end is vintage Willems.) In the second book, Cat the Cat meets all sorts of flying animals. Then Rhino the Rhino joins the scene, and the crowd is quite confused as to how he might fly. To Cat's surprise (and the reader's, too), Rhino has a little trick of his own. While the occasional challenging word (such as pleasure) creeps into the text, most of the words are sight words or are easily decoded by the new reader. Bright colors, funny situations, and a cameo appearance by a certain Pigeon will keep these readers captivated and amused...and looking forward to more stories they can read all by themselves. [review covers these titles: Cat the Cat, Who Is That? and Let's Say Hi to Friends Who Fly!] Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 March #1
Mo is back, and Cat the Cat has arrived. The spare, animation-inspired aesthetic, bright colors and speech-bubble text that characterize many of Willem's works are present in this new picture-book series, which could also serve well as beginning reader fare. In this inaugural title, the sweet, eponymous character encounters friends at every page turn, whom she readily identifies as Mouse the Mouse, Duck the Duck, Fish the Fish and so on. But when she discovers a seven-limbed monster playing with building blocks, she can only respond "EEP!" to the text's oft-repeated prompt, "Cat the Cat, who is that?" Like Leonardo the Terrible Monster (2005) before him, this monster happily turns out to be a good friend, and Cat the Cat joins him in joyfully shouting, "Blarggie! Blarggie!" and crashing through the block tower. Move over Pigeon, Piggie and Gerald, there's a new cat in town, and she's most welcome. (Picture book/early reader. 2-7) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 January #3

In Cat the Cat's friendly world, names are an uncomplicated affair, most of the time. This early reader pictures Cat, an irrepressible kitty in a purple dress, skipping and cartwheeling to greet pals like Mouse the Mouse and Fish the Fish. All is well until Cat meets a chartreuse creature with eyestalks, a blue tongue, four arms, and three legs. She skids to a halt and her tail electrifies. The individual, unrecognizable but clearly amiable, stops stacking blocks to say, "Blarggie! Blarggie!" This time Cat's initial response to the repeated question, "Cat the Cat, who is that?" is "I have no idea," but Cat finally decides this might be "a new friend!" and responds with a bouncy "Blarggie!" of her own. Willems provides just enough humor and surprise to entertain youngest audiences and subtly suggests some future reading: Duck the Duck cradles a Pigeon doll, and in a second book being released simultaneously--Let's Say Hi to Friends Who Fly!--another character rides a Pigeon playground toy. Cat could become another favorite; her personality sparkles in expansive gestures and gleeful interactions. Up to age 5. (Feb.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 February

PreS-K--Using a repetitive vocabulary with few new words added in, Willems offers successful reading experiences for the earliest readers, complete with fun-loving, friendly characters and surprise story lines. In the first book, Cat the Cat meets her friends as she answers the oft-repeated question, "Cat the Cat, who is that?" with "It's Mouse the Mouse!" Questions and answers are in large, bold type while white word balloons with a clear, dark font are used effectively to further the simple conversation. Cat the Cat continues on as she meets Duck the Duck, Fish the Fish, and a strange-looking alien who, after scaring her at first, becomes her new friend. In Let's Say Hi, Cat the Cat asks Bee the Bee, Bird the Bird, and Bat the Bat if they can fly. They all answer "watch me" as they fly away. The story takes a surprise turn as the friends ask Rhino the Rhino if he can fly, and he takes off in his airplane, taking them with him. The animals are drawn with expressions ranging from wide-eyed innocence to surprise as they learn about the world around them. Drawn on a mostly uncluttered sky-blue background with thick black lines, the characters are illustrated in a brighter and wider range of colors than in Willems's previous works. Fans of "Elephant and Piggie" (Hyperion) may think themselves to be a bit advanced for this newest cast of characters, but they will want to join in on these latest adventures where even Pigeon makes subtle appearances.--Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY

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