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The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC's (the Hard Way)
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The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC's (the Hard Way)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,032 ratings  ·  232 reviews
Bestselling and award-winning artist Patrick McDonnell uses the ABC's to tell a hilarious, high-energy alphabetical adventure.

It starts with an ALLIGATOR and a BEAR chasing a CAT. When a DRAGON (and a chicken and an egg!) join in pursuit, things start to get REALLY interesting. A wild and wacky chase through snow and ice, and to jungles and over mountaintops, leads the who
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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4.09  · 
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 ·  1,032 ratings  ·  232 reviews

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La Coccinelle
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Alphabet books (like counting books) can be hit or miss. This one, however, somehow manages to be both an alphabet book and a decent story, all without using any words at all.

The little red cat runs out of his house and into the world where he meets an alligator, a bear, a chicken... and then a dragon! The chase begins. Soon, the little red cat and his new companions are off on an adventure across the world.

Each page has a letter in both upper and lowercase, and though there's no accompanying te

The ABCs in chase form! Brilliant! Leave it to Patrick McDonnell and his adorably expressive red cat to get us up and running.

This fast moving, nearly wordless story comes together piece by piece, letter by letter. We are off and running as soon as our red cat hero makes a dash for the open door. Look at his face by the way. The pure joy of freedom is written all over it! But his “Yay! I’m free!” excitement flips to “OH-No!” A is for Alligator in a blink!!! Haha…Run! And off we go….

Cat and Allig
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow - this book is awesome!

The little red cat and an odd assortment of followers have one heck of an adventure.

There's nothing on the page but an upper and lower case letter, and the author's delightful illustration. It's up to the reader to discern what within the picture starts with that particular letter.
Whether you're reading this one because you're a fan of the author's MUTTS comic strip, or you're just looking for something great to peruse with your child, this book is a WINNER!

Highly reco
The title tells what the story is basically about. It is close to wordless but with a few minor reservations, it is easy to tell what each letter signifies. In case you get stuck, the author lists the words on the last page of the book. I found O to be difficult to decipher and had to resort to the list. However, most of the others were either quite easy to figure out, or only took a moment's thought. It is a fun story....particularly the chicken and egg....but not exceptional. I certainly recom ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
When the little red cat heads outside, he discovers a world of surprises and dangers that follow the ABCs. Readers will have to puzzle out what matches each letter along the way (though there is a key in the back of the book to help if you get stuck.) With a merry chase throughout the book, it has the feel of a Gingerbread Boy gallop across the pages. The book is wordless, offering only the letters along the way, providing a visual treat as the cat is joined by an alligator, a bear, a chicken, a ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cat and friends go on a wild caper from A-Z and back again. Playful yet focused and clear its' concept and plot. McDonnell achieves a lot with simple lines and plain backgrounds. The key in the final page helps for the trickier letters. Sure to be a kid hit that rewards multiple readings.
Chance Lee
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-it
Super fun wordless book about a little red cat who runs away and gets into all sorts of trouble -- in alphabetical order.

Each page only has the letter -- capital and lowercase -- and an image corresponding to the letter. A great way to tell a wordless story and learn letters!

The book is in an appealing wide-page format, which is extra exciting when you get to turn the book on its side to see cat and his companions parachuting off a cliff!
Colby Sharp
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: abc-book, 2017, 2017-nerdy
The best ABC book that I have read in ages. I freakin' love this book! SO. MUCH. FUN.
Brenda Kahn
OMG! How did I miss this gem! So happy that I caught Victoria Stapleton's podcast where she interviews Patrick McDonnell. So worth a listen! The book features a red cat who wakes up one morning, spies an open door and runs away. He quickly comes face-to-face with an alligator and so the alphabet commences. This wordless book is a treasure. Hilarious and entertaining, kids will crowd close in anticipation. There's brilliance in the little details, so don't rush through. This would be perfect in m ...more
Mary Catelli
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
An ABC book. The letters are the only things on the pages as the cat slips out the door and finds himself pursued through the entire alphabet. The reader has to work out the significance.
A wordless concept alphabet book. I wasn't sure if it was really going to work but it basically does. The alphabet, through the illustrations, tells a story. I'm glad there is a key at the end because a few times it is hard to know exactly what word the author is going for and kids might get frustrated (okay adults too).
PEI Public Library Service
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you’re looking for a creative, fun and exciting alphabet book, Patrick McDonnell’s The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC's (the Hard Way) is the book for you! While there is no shortage of alphabet books for young children, McDonnell brings his charming illustrations and inventive storytelling to lead the reader from A to Z. The mostly wordless picture book relies on the readers to connect what is in the picture to the letter on that page.

The Little Red Cat embarks on an advent
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
First sentence: Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee

Premise/plot: Using nothing but the alphabet, McDonnell tells the story of a little red cat who has a mighty, big adventure before returning home once more. It stars a cat, an alligator, a bear, a dragon, a chicken, and an egg....

My thoughts: Technically, I'm not sure if this one would count as wordless or not. The only text within the book is the alphabet. The story is communicated nevertheless. This one has plenty of adventure and some guesswork. The only letter I
Mortisha Cassavetes
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
I won this cute picture book in a giveaway and just love it. It teaches children their ABC's but it is a bit harder than most books. The child must figure out what is going on in the picture that corresponds with the Letter. Very fun book! Kids just loved it! I would recommend this to everyone that has kids that like a little bit of a challenge.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fun and unusual alphabet requests
I just found this fun. I don't know that it will hold up for repeated readings and it is more for a child that is fairly familiar with her/his alphabet.

A basically wordless picture book in which a cat runs away and runs into or experiences various things in order of the alphabet. Capitol and lower case letters shown. Items identified on last page with the whole alphabet.
Melissa McAlvey
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, kids
I admit that I am not always a Patrick McDonnell fan, but this one was fun. Cute and engaging enough for both girls and always love the books that Norah can "read" later.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A nearly wordless picture book with a cute concept of a race across different landscapes. The illustrations are wonderful.
Mary-Esther Lee
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidbooks
Really cute! (You'll fall in love with the egg.)
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty good introduction to meditation for kids. Except I kept thinking that the first thing Henry should do to calm down is drink less lemonade.
Amy Layton
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun book, and it was one that made me think, too!  What's being illustrated isn't elaborated upon by the letter's corresponding word, so it's up to the reader to guess what's happening.  It also makes great use of the physical book itself, and is all around just a great book for those learning their ABCs.  

Review cross-listed here!
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, giveaways
First things first, I won this book through a giveaway.
Second: I'm elated to have won this book!

As soon as I opened the package my three-year-old looked at the cover and said "I love dragon books!" Now, my child loves to be read to and just started to look at books himself and "read" them to every stuffed creature in his room, so for him to instantly love this book made it a win on another level.

I am now a work from home mom, but prior to this I was a teacher and I had read COUNTLESS ABC books
Clever, adorable, and laugh-out-loud funny.
Cassandra Gelvin
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
'W' is for 'What??'

It's an alphabet book. It only does one word per letter. There could have been more there. It's interesting in that it doesn't actually say until the last page what the words are; it just depicts them. It starts with a cat leaving his house and then there's a page with a letter "A" on it where he encounters an alligator and on the page with the letter "B" there's a bear, but it doesn't say the words "alligator" and "bear" until the very end (except on the letter "L" where he's
W.H. Beck
Nov 26, 2017 added it
Shelves: cvtc-kidit, fl-pb
Wordless (or nearly) alphabet book of a little cat who leaves his house and encounters an alphabetical adventure.

I picked this up because I love Patrick McDonnell's other books for kids ( A Perfectly Messed-Up Story and Tek: The Modern Cave Boy were regular read alouds in the library), plus it has landed on both Publishers Weekly's and School Library Journal's best-books-of-the-year lists.

Little Red Cat doesn't disappoint. It's full of cuteness, adventure, humor, and McDonnell's amazing way
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Y’all, Patrick McDonnell has managed to combine an alphabet book and a wordless picture book, resulting in The Little Red Cat Who Aran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way), an alphabet book that actually tells a story, and it’s magnificent! Though illustrated in McDonnell’s distinctive simple style (simpler sketches on an expansive cream background focus your eyes on what he wants you to see), each page is filled with detail and humor that make this book a delight.

Indeed, some of the lette
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When you have small children or pets as members of your family (depending on the type of pet, of course) you get in the habit of checking as to their whereabouts before you open any door of your home. The lure of the outside world is strong. You would think the music of the Sirens is calling to them. If they are faster at running through the opening than you are at closing the door, they are soon speeding away like a cheetah. You imagine them yelling at the top of their lungs, "I'm free! I'm fre ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Alphabet book that shows both big and little letter prominently but other than that it's wordless and you have to infer from the pictures what each letter refers to (examples, egg, king, unicorn, valentine, yawn). The hook is that it is actually a story. The cat runs comes across an Alligator and a Bear and a Chicken who chase him. They stop in their tracks at a Dragon and the chicken lays and Egg. The dragon breathes Fire, the animals put on (sun)Glasses and try to escape to a House. On the way ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This cute little story is a tiny twist on the ol' picture/label ABC book. It not only tells a story, but kids have to guess what the letter stands for. ("A" shows a picture of an alligator without naming what it is.) It's a really fun way to engage children in the story and help caregivers have conversations with kids about the books (i.e. dialogic reading). There are a few stumpers that might be very challenging for kids, and a few that can have a couple of interpretations (Many kids for "K" mi ...more
Becky B
Little Red Cat ends up on quite the chase after accidentally upsetting an alligator, a bear, a chicken, and a dragon. Their chase takes them all over the place, with each page highlighting something or an action that starts with the letter of the alphabet displayed. There's a guide for what each item or action was in the back of the book for those who like to check.

This is a cute and fun adventure through the alphabet. Most of the words are easy to figure out and the fact that the highlighted it
First of all, it's Patrick McDonnell.
This wordless story begins when The Little Red Cat, bursts out the front door of his home, only to be set upon by an alligator, bear, chicken and dragon. Capital and lowercase letters correspond to each new character or event, creating a guessing game for readers. There's even a bathroom break. Readers can make up their own stories while hunting for the letter representation on the page. Although some are obvious, in some illustrations, there may be multiple
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In 1994 McDonnell created the comic strip MUTTS which now appears in over 700 newspapers and 20 countries.

In 2005, McDonnell embarked on a children's book career. His first children’s book, which featured the MUTTS characters, The Gift of Nothing, quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Art (2006), his second release, told the story of a boy named Art who makes art. His next release, Just Like