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Picture books about cats

September is Happy Cat Month! Me-OW! If you know anything about librarians, you should know that we love cats! The picture books below were selected for their funny, adorable, and beautiful illustrations all about cats! Get ready to read by practicing your meows and purrs, and curl up like a cat with one or more of the following books! 

Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
It’s impossible to have a list of cat books and not include this treasure! It is a Caldecott winner for best illustrations in a children’s book. It is a simple story about a little kitty who thinks the moon is a big bowl of milk. She tries chasing it, jumping into it, and following it; but despite her best efforts, the moon eludes her. It will keep young readers guessing to see if she is able to catch the moon, and can lead to some really fun discussions of the moon. Can you catch the moon? Is it made of milk? Will the little kitty get her bowl of milk? 

There Are Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwartz 
Viviane Schwartz plays with her readers in her other books There Are No Cats In This Book or Is There A Dog In This Book?  With this book, the cats are in on the joke! You will meet three friendly cats: red cat, blue cat, and yellow cat. These kitties will con you into turning the page for them and bringing them yarn, boxes, pillows, fish, and finally tucking them into a blanket. The pages are really fun to turn, and feature things to pop open or smaller pages to turn! 

Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani 
I feel like this story is begging to be made into a felt story! It is just soo cute! One cat sleeps, two cats play, but when you get to three cats - you have to stack them! The cats are adorable, and it is a fun counting book for little ones to enjoy! 

Chester by Melanie Watt 
Chester is a mischievous cat who is trying to take control of Melanie Watt’s story! Chester comes in with his own red pen and rewrites the story for her! Melanie and her story of a mouse are in a battle of wits with Chester and his need to be the center of attention! These stories where the author engages in a play with her characters can be really funny and engaging for children. Another great one that challenges the idea of “author” of the story is Mac Barnett’s Chloe and the Lion.

Cat Tale by Michael Hall
I love Michael Hall’s brightly illustrated books, this one is a fun book for the vocabulary and the play on words that ensues. He uses homophones and homonyms to make tongue twister of three cats and their adventures! It will probably go over the heads of his usual readers - but would make a great book for elementary students! 

How to be a Cat by Nikki McClure
This is a really great book for babies and toddlers - the black and white coloring will attract baby eyes, and there are just one word on each page - and usually a movement. You can play along and learn to be a cat that stretches, cleans, and pounces. It would be a great discussion with your little ones to talk about other things they see a cat do and build their narrative skills! 

Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert
This is a bright and short book about a cat that sneaks out of his home and is looking to get a bird for lunch! The rhyming text show us how he hopes to catch the birds, but they hear his little bell and fly away. Lois Ehlert has a knack for education in her picture books, and uses real birds - which she names in her story and then gives the reader factual information about them at the end. You can play I-Spy and look for these birds in your neighborhood! 

A Kitten Tale by Eric Rothman
This pick is a slightly longer tale about four kittens who have never seen snow before. Three of the kittens are nervous about the cold and wet snow, but the last kitten “can’t wait!” This story follows them from the end of summer to the cold winter when they finally experience snow. When they see the snowflakes fall and the mounds of white snow, the kittens are surprised to find that snow isn’t so scary after all, in fact, it’s fun! 

Matilda's Cat by Emily Gravett
Emily Gravett’s books are so charming! This one focuses on Matilda who is trying to find out what her cat likes the best. Maybe playing with wool? Climbing trees? Tea parties? While Matilda has a lot of fun, her cat is not amused. As she struggles to find what her cat will truly love - the answer is a heartwarming surprise and proves that cats know best! 

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel 
One of the more recent books on this list, and winner of a Caldecott Honor award for one of the best picture books! This book is really interesting because of how it showcases perspective to the reader. Different animals see the cat differently, and it repeats the line: “The cat walked through the world with its whiskers, ears, and paws.” The illustrations are beautiful and thought-provoking and beg the reader to think about what they see when they see a cat: a companion, a friend, an annoyance, etc. 

Max the Brave by Ed Vere 
I originally got this book for free and gave it to my little nieces and nephew. It didn’t really impress me at first. But the little ones loved it! They asked for re-read upon re-read, and when I go home to visit, they still want to read it! It has won me over! Max wants to be a brave cat and he knows that brave cats chase mice. But he doesn’t know what a mouse is. He goes searching all around asking other animals if they are a mouse, and when he actually meets one, he is in for a surprise! 

Have You Seen My Cat? by Eric Carle
When we think about cats, we are usually picturing the types of cats you would have at home. In fact, in all of these other books, you see house cats. In this book, a boy goes in search of his cat and meets lots of different kinds of cats: a lion, a jaguar, bobcat, a cheetah, and more until finally finding his cat! 

Mama Cat Has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming
This book is a classic for a reason! I love the repetition, it will definitely give your little ones a chance to “read” along with you! Mama cat and her two kittens, Fluffy and Skinny, enjoy a variety of cat activities like washing their paws, walking on a stone wall, sharpening their claws, chasing leaves, etc. All the while, the third kitten, Boris, naps. It will be easy and fun for your little ones to read their line of “Boris naps”. The usual wonderfully colorful illustrations of Denise Fleming are here as well!