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Cat Talk

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  50 reviews
From cuddler to troublemaker, kitten to tom, cats have a lot to say. Authors Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest and illustrator Barry Moser give voice to and celebrate our most opinionated furry friends in this spirited collection of poems filled with rich language, perfect for reading aloud. Cat Talk is sure to make readers wonder what their own four-legged ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
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I recently found this book at my library. Co-authored by Patricia MacLachlan and her daughter, Emily MacLachlan Charest, and illustrated by Barry Moser, you'll find delightful pages, each with a lovely image of a particular cat and poetic text that describes its special personality. For those who love cats, this would make a wonderful gift, and for those who teach, I can imagine having students use this example to spark their own poems about a particular favorite pet, not necessarily a cat.
Cuddle-some to Troublesome!

From the cutest to the most troublesome kittens, cats and toms, “Cat Talk” features furry friendly poems for children to read. Authors MacLachlan captures the many “cat” personalities in 13 different poems. Written with a gentle flow or words, these poems are told in first person and delightfully easy to read.

Meet “Tough Tom” who walks into a window with his nose scratched and ear torn up from a street fight with cats. He is cold and hungry and scared but he takes a ch
This is a gorgeous picture book. The only thing which kept me from giving it a fifth star is that I am not sure of the intended audience. Some of the poetry seems aimed at the adults reading it, rather than to the kids for whom it seems to be formatted.
For kids familiar with cats, or for parents of kids in a family with cats, this will be a treasure for the illustrations.
Think of this as a modern reply to Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and you won't be far off. Each pair of pages describes
I am not sure why that particular illustration was chosen for the cover--it is not the strongest out of the book, so don't let it deter you. Overall, I think the poems and illustrations will appeal to cat lovers of all ages. They poems and illustratoins are not sappy or insipid, nor are they catty (ok, maybe I mean snarky) and repulsive. Rather, cats are depicted as they truly are: individualistic furry souls with a lot of personality.
So, I asked what we are going to read next, and my 8 year old grandson shoves this book at me after he had informed me that he had already read it, wanted it for the next read-aloud, and thought I would like it. So with a cat trying to get on top of the book, and the other two making themselves scarce, I did my best to figure how each of these should be read.

Each of the poems features a particular cat, and each cat is a unique character. So, kneading our black and white "Smacky" to keep him occ
Stacey Kahler
Comparing this book to the one the author did on dogs really hurt this book. The dog poetry book was something special and a bit magical, but the cat one just can't compare to it. It also doesn't help that I'm not a cat person!
I liked this better than I thought, since I am not a cat person. The poems were simple yet conveyed sentiments and personalities very well. I was able to imagine these cats exactly, even though I've never been around cats for that long. My favorite part was probably the illustrations, though. So adorable and perfectly captured the cats and what the poems were saying. Should reach a god audience. I may have to consider this for a preschool storytime choice, since I must remember that even though ...more
Eva Yamashita
Nov 27, 2013 Eva Yamashita rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ages range from four to eight
Cat Talk is a children’s poetry book with beautiful illustrations. There are 13 poems in this book, and all poems are told by 13 different cats’ viewpoints. All of the cats in the book are very unique, and they find their meaning in humans’ lives.
In this book, readers can also find typical cats’ habits and characters. For example, cats prefer to sleep somewhere warm and comfortable such as in a mitten box, in bedclothes, on fluffy clothing, and on a copy machine. Furthermore, this book describe
Loving the Sarah, Plain and Tall stories from my childhood I was curious what I would find in a picture book from Patricia MacLachlan and I'm enchanted. This book reminds me partially of the cat portion in the Our Animal Friends At Maple Hill Farm book. Each page is an image of a cat and poetic text in a description. It is absolutely lovely and full of personality. Yes I do think this ail make a fun children's picture book, but even more I think this will be a fabulous gift idea for anyone that ...more
NYC Reads 365
"Tough Tom is a fighter; Romeo is a lover; and Princess Sheba Darling is a glamour puss. Each of these thirteen free-verse poems has as its title the name of the cat who narrates it. Detailed watercolor drawings capture the felines' distinct personalities."
2.8 stars

The poems, which are all about cats, are just so-so. But the illustrations are beautiful.
Not nearly as good as Once I Ate a Pie.
Cute poems, beautiful illustrations
Wendy Gray
great for kids who love cats
Michael Jones
Beehive Nominee book for 2015
Alexander Jones
Beehive Nominee book for 2015
A lovely collection of cat poetry with glorious paintings. It's a lovely companion to Once I Ate a Pie and I Didn't Do It. These poems don't have quite the same humor, though cat owners and lovers will certainly connect with the various cats and kittens described in the book.
Beehive Nominee book
Nov 21, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful collection of poetry about cats that humorously depicts the myriad personalities of cats. The poems are short and witty and the illustrations are marvelous. It totally reminded me of the classic book, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. We really enjoyed reading this book together and we've read it a couple of times.
A perfectly lovely book, with Barry Moser's gorgeous watercolor illustrations, and Patricia MacLachlanpoems, which are by turns funny and touching -- sometimes both at once.

Most suitable for school aged children, but great for people of any age who like cats, or beautiful illustrations.
These poems are clearly by a felineophile! So true for those of us who live with cats. The opening poem about Tough Tom was so on target for me. We had a battered old tom who slowly worked his way into our home and hearts just like this poem. I loved the next one too of the cat who slides under the blankets with the sleeping kids. Lovely illustrations and poems by someone who knows and loves cats.
Melissa Mcavoy
A felinophile's dream: 13 beautiful watercolor portraits of cats are accompanied by a poem that reveals their personalities. I am no cat fan, and had initially given this three stars, but up-ed my rating knowing that cat fanciers will be over the moon. The poems effectively convey the character of each cat and the regard it is held in, but it is clear that the artistry of the poems is not the focus.
Patrica MachLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest have cleverly captured the essence of thirteen distinctive cat personalities in their free verse poems. With his realistic, expressive paintings Barry Moser enhances and extends their words.

My full review:

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I am not typically a fan of poetry or verse. However, the subject matter of this adorable picture book drew me in. Each poem does a great job of showcasing the personality of each feline. Moser's illustrations are fabulous and made my son want to kiss each cat we encountered.
The illustrations were cute, but I wan't a big fan of the poems.

Did we really need a poem about a cat with kittens?
Reading this book made me smile. Anyone who has cats for pets will enjoy it. It perfectly captures the many personalities of felines (and maybe a few humans). Direct your juvenile cat lovers to this for an introduction to poetry.
I actually liked Once I Ate a Pie better, but this one had merit.
It received a favorable response from the students.
Brenda Kahn
I must confess that I purchased this one because of Barry Moser. I adore his style, especially when animals are the subject. As a cat fancier, these poems are sweet odes to a variety of cats.

I'm not sure children would enjoy it---but I sure did.

I'm now bias with cats and books are combined.

Especially when they are wearing tiny little hats.
Some nice cat poems for young readers, written by the mother-daughter MacLachlan team. Some fine illustrations of a variety of cat breeds by Barry Moser.
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Patricia MacLachlan is a bestselling U.S. children's author, best known for winning the 1986 Newbery Medal for her book Sarah, Plain and Tall.

For more information, please see
More about Patricia MacLachlan...
Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1) Skylark (Sarah, Plain and Tall #2) Waiting for the Magic Caleb's Story (Sarah, Plain and Tall #3) All the Places to Love

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