Reviews for It's All About Me-ow

Booklist Reviews 2012 September #2
*Starred Review* The tiny, wide-eyed kittens on the book's cover and the funny title will draw readers right in. Who doesn't love cats? Well, even if you don't love 'em, you'll have learned a lot about them--delightfully--after turning the last page of this clever picture book. The tiger-striped narrator is an experienced cat who is welcoming three kittens to their new home. And there's plenty to learn. First off, he admonishes the kittens, the humans "want to make YOU happy! Now's the time to take control." And so it begins--the litany of catty ways that cat owners know all too well. How cats use their purrs, roll over on their backs, and give (several versions) of the patented kitty stare that means "I'm starving." But this doesn't just delve into the psyches of cats (and their people), though there's plenty of that. Talbott offers enough information about a cat's body, the history of felines, and cat cousins to raise this to the level of an information book, albeit an amusing one. Then there's the watercolor and colored-pencil art. Funny and furious, with cats darting in circles around the spreads, it also features charts, time lines, and simple portraits of cats exhibiting feline behavior; it's all a wonderful mélange of "catitude." Even without the dedication, it would be obvious that Talbott has owned cats. He has taken the bad with the good and can now make even a cat devouring the Thanksgiving turkey look like fun. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
In this how-to guide for cats, Buddy, an older and wiser tabby, shares his knowledge of cat history, owner manipulation, and cat dos and don ts with a new generation of kittens. Though the narrative isn't plot driven, it's humorous and will appeal to young cat owners. Talbott's watercolors embody silly cat antics, filling the pages with the elder cat's tips and tricks, lively diagrams, and the wonders of being a cat.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 August #1
Cat lovers will recognize their favorite feline attributes (as well as those they're less fond of) in this amusing "cat"-alog. Presented as advice to a trio of new (kitten) residents from Buddy, a charming marmalade cat, the first-person narration pokes fun at peoples' foibles and extols the virtues of cats large and small. One double-page spread contrasts the abilities and physiology of cats and humans; another shows the history of cats from their first appearance through the glories of Egypt and the bad times of the Dark Ages to the present day; a third showcases cats of all kinds from domesticated breeds to a lion, tiger, lynx and other big cats. Buddy also explains the mysteries of cat communication, from body language through the power of purrs, and provides a list of ways to keep caretakers on their toes (don't miss the vignette that pays homage to Ezra Jack Keats' Kitten for a Day). Talbott's cartoon-style illustrations feature round-eyed kittens and a sly, smugly smiling Buddy. They lack detailed backgrounds, keeping the pages feeling clean. His human characters, a (stereo)typical family, are over-the-top in their admiration for Buddy, which adds to the humor and, along with the faux-instructional tone, creates continuity. Ailurophobes won't be swayed, but feline fanciers will lap this up and look forward to repeat servings. (Informational picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 August #2

In what amounts to a tongue-in-cheek feline version of Susan E. Goodman and David Slonim's recent It's a Dog's Life, Buddy, a veteran pet cat, offers advice to the three naive kittens that join his household. Puns and cat jokes rule the day: Buddy urges the newcomers to "take control" of their humans, though he acknowledges, "You're probably saying, ‘Me? How? Me? How?' " Buddy also touts the benefits of "catitude" (which includes knowing "how to purr your way out of trouble... when you're caught in the kitchen with a fried chicken in your paws") and explains cat physiology, cat history, "communi-CAT-ing" via body language, and playing with humans ("Ask to go out then to come in... then out... in... out..."). In mixed-media illustrations, Talbott (River of Dreams) portrays Buddy as a laid-back know-it-all tabby, and he plays up the instructional idea in spreads that include cat-drawn posters, charts, and asides from cats and humans alike. As Talbott's adorable felines alternately wreak havoc and charm humans, cat-loving readers--adults in particular--will chuckle and nod in recognition. All ages. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 August

K-Gr 3--Buddy, an older cat, welcomes three newly weaned kittens into his abode and begins to teach them the ins and outs of managing the humans in the household. He is prepared with charts and diagrams that compare cats to humans (Us: nose/ cute and powerful, Them: nose/big but feeble), a "catwalk through history," and a little lecture on the value of "purr therapy" for the modern family. He also gives instruction in "catitude," including proper tail positioning and what to do if humans forget that you are the center of their world. Anyone who has ever been owned by a cat will connect with all the behaviors described and enjoy recognizing their own pets as they laugh at Buddy's antics. The watercolor, colored-pencil, and ink illustrations are crisp and lively and add to the humor of the situations described. The book is better suited for independent reading than group sharing because of the small details and numerous asides. Buddy's instruction will be enjoyed by most cat/animal lovers.--Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

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