Monday, April 2, 2018

15 Children's Books that (mostly) feature Cats for International Children's Book Day

Since Cody's blog first began in 2009 I have been doing book reviews,  In the past year or so I have greatly cut down the number of books I had been reviewing because of the enormous amount of time it takes to read the books and write the reviews. They were beginning to take over my life!
Today is International Children's Book Day, which is an event that celebrates Children's literature. I remember as a child reading brought me enormous joy. It inspired my imagination by helping me to escape to other places, even other worlds, and it is something I hold close to my heart.

International Children's Book Day was founded back in 1967 by Jella Lepman the founder of the International Board of Books for Young People and it is always held on or near the birthday of celebrated author Hans Christian Anderson.

In honor of this event and it's importance to our young people, I have decided to share links to ten of our favorite children's books that we have reviewed through the years. (If you click on the title of each book it will take you directly to my review. NOTE:If there is a give-away attached to a review, obviously the give-aways have ended)  Now on to the children's books that I have chosen to feature:

"Staying Strong for Smokey" 

"Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all"
--Alfred Lord Tennyson

Losing a beloved pet is one of the most heart-breaking experiences that anyone who shares their life with a pet will ever have to face.  It is hard enough for adults to understand,  but how does one explain it to the special children in their life?

Explaining to a child that their beloved pet whom often they have known since they were born is aging, and ill, and that the most caring thing that you can do for that pet is to help them "pass peacefully to a safe place" is a difficult concept for adults to grasp, let alone a child. I was honored to review this book because Corey Gut, DVM is one of the Vets at the practice that Cody and Dakota go to so we are lucky to get to see her in person sometimes! 

 The KeeKee Adventure Series:

The KeeKee "Big Adventures" series is a complete delight and I am honored to have reviewed each and every book in the series! Before I share KeeKee's latest book:KeeKee's Big Adventures in Amsterdam, Netherlands, let's take a trip with KeeKee and visit the other fabulous books in the series, shall we? C'mon!!

KeeKee's Big Adventures in Paris, France ,  followed by KeeKee's Big Adventures in Rome, Italy (I had the enormous honor of having one of my quotes on the back cover praising the Paris book!)

KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Paris, France, was a Silver Winner in The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Children’s/Young Adult) category at IBPA’s 2014 Benjamin Franklin Awards. Visit for more information.
Covers courtesy of

I was super excited for the release of KeeKee's Big Adventures in Athens, Greece  for a number of reasons, an important one is I have always been fascinated by the Greek culture. The food,  music, climate, history, architecture and so much more. I minored in Philosophy in college and majored in Rhetoric, (I intensely studied Greek Rhetorical theory), so I might have been just a tad biased about this book!

There is a formula to each of the books in the KeeKee's Big Adventure series  that makes the series a wonderful learning tool for children and adults alike:

1) KeeKee makes new friends
2) KeeKee learns new words in the language of the places that she is visting--in the back of each book is a handy guide that shows the proper way to pronounce the words that are featured.
3) KeeKee eats YUMMY food
4) KeeKee visits super cool places! There is always a super-cool map of all of the places that were visited in each book

From Author Shannon Jones: This great adventure begain on a KLM Airlines flight in 2006 moving to the wonderful city of Amsterdam with the real-life KeeKee. Amsterdam was our home for four years, and our travels across Europe led us on the path to launching KeeKee's Big Adventures. We dedicate this book to those inspirations.

Archie's First Adventure

Now, you are probably asking, "Why is a MOUSE being featured on your blog?"  That is a purrfectly fair question my furiends! Those of you who are long time readers know all too well that this is far from the first time a MOUSE has been featured on my blog. Why? Because I LOVE MOUSIES!! My favorite toys in the WORLD are MOUSIES!!

Photo Courtesy of Archie The

A Bed for Kitty

A Bed for Kitty is an adorable children's story that speaks to the quirkiness that is cats. Most of us can relate to buying new things for our cats that they promptly proceed to ignore. No amount of cajoling will make the cat use the new item.

In A Bed for Kitty, little Chloe is full of excitement to give "Kitty" her new present!!!  Kitty loves to sleep and Chloe feels that a new bed will be a most appreciated gift!! You have to read the book to find out what happens!

Odie the Stray Kitten and Odie's Best Friend

"For Odie, because sometimes the smallest ones
become the biggest inspirations"

Odie the Stray Kitten is a charming book about a little orange and white kitten who lost his family on a cold winter night. He never expected to find a loving forever home in a horse barn. Not only did he find a loving, forever home, he also found hope, new friends and a name.  His name happens to mean "inspiration", which is no coincidence. Odie the Stray Kitten is not only an adorable read for little ones, but it shows that out of something that initially seems like a bad situation, something GOOD can come out of it!

"For Bandit, because every animal
has a story to tell"
Odie’s Best Friend is the second book in the Odie the Stray Kitten Series. It focuses on the story
of Bandit, a gray and white cat, and his journey to find a forever home. His adventures take him
through an animal shelter and life as a stray before he finds a home on the farm with Odie and
their girl. This is the follow-up to 2013’s Odie the Stray Kitten, which was a 2014 Next
Generation Indie Book Award Winner, 2014 Purple Dragonfly Children’s Book Award Honorable Mention, and 2014 Recipient of the Children’s Literary Classics’ Seal of Approval.

Both Odie the Stray Kitten and Odie's Best Friend were lovingly and skillfully illustrated by Lowell Hildebrandt. The illustrations are vibrant and delightful, children of all ages will enjoy them!

Are you ready? Odie and Bandit are based on REAL cats!

Odie and Bandit
This photo came from
Kristen's Facebook Page
Double Trouble

Book Cover Courtesy of Lou Belcher

Many in the cat world know that  Bugsy and Knuckles are kitty brothers, better known as The Boys who get along so well, and are so deeply attached to each other,  that they appear to have some sort of telepathic communication system that only they understand! Most of their antics take place on the blog that they share with "HH" aka Her Highness, who is known to the rest of the world as Lou Belcher, Author of The Zen of Max, and the blog (Before You Write), that she shares with Bugsy, Knuckles and their special friend, Checkers the Mouse.  In addition to being a superb author/free-lance writer, Lou is  also a talented artist.

This is "Bugsy"
(Photo Courtesy of Lou Belcher)
"He is mellow most of the time
and rarely takes the lead.
Consequently, he doesn't end up
in trouble as often as Knuckles."

This is "Knuckles"
 Photo Courtesy of  Lou Belcher
"He is full of energy
and is always planning
an assault of some sort.
He usually fails,
consequently, he is the
comic relief in my life."

Bugsy and Knuckles are REAL LIFE brothers! They are litter mates! Where one is, the other is sure to follow. They share a passion for play and their special telepathic communication system allows them to "pull off capers that have earned them the title DOUBLE TROUBLE"

"Bugsy and Knuckles"
Illustration Courtesy of Lou Belcher

Lucky Cats Paper Dolls

Literally translated as "the beckoning cat," a Maneki Neko is easy to recognize by its raised paw. This traditional symbol of prosperity originated in Japan and can be found around the world especially in shops and restaurants." This fun book was written and illustrated by our friend Maggie Swanson.

"This is a beautiful and
delightful book!"

"The word catkin is a calque from the Dutch katteken, meaning "kitten", on account of the resemblance to a kitten's tail.[1]"  (taken from Catkin-Wikipedia, you can see more definitions and photos here)

If you have ever observed a cat outdoors, you were certain to see them forever chasing the "elusive butterfly", the flitting fly, galloping grasshopper, cavorting cricket or whatever has recently struck their fancy.

The outcome in most of these scenarios? The cat gets within a paw's reach of the tempting object, the object of desire manages to escape, leaving the cat with a bewildered look, frustrated and empty-pawed.

For cats it is all about the "hunt". From the Publisher: "When Catkin jumps off Amy's lap for an afternoon of hunting, his adventurous nature eventually turns into trouble!"

Rainbow Forest Fables

 isn't about cats, but it is about animals, lessons, enchantment, wonder, magic and is written by an author with a personal connection got it! CATS!

Rainbow Forest Fables is a book "dedicated to the young and the young at  heart" whose message is "if we keep our hearts open, we can learn so much from each other and our surroundings."  This delightful book was written and illustrated by Pamela June Kimmel

Cat and Crow An Amazing Friendship 

 (published by Collage Books Inc.), was written by Lisa Fleming. 

Cat and Crow is based on the true story of a cat, (Cassie), and a crow, (Moses), who, in spite of  their obvious differences, became the best of friends.

When compiling a list of "must read" Children's books, be SURE that this one is on your list!


If you are a teacher or have children,  if you have nieces, nephews, little cousins or grandkids, if you have ever prepared a child to welcome (or not) a new sibling, or introduced a dog into a home with a cat then you will enjoy Purrsnikitty.

The title  is charming. Purrsnikitty  which comes from  a play on the word "persnickety" which means "over particular, fussy, snobbish, having an aloof attitude" (,  is also the name of the main character of the book. She embodies all of the previously mentioned characteristics, (as evidenced by the verse below taken from the book) as do most cats.

"I'm a very special cat!
I say that every day-
I love myself so very much
and always get my way!"

Purrsnikitty is the purrfect bedtime book for children. It has adorable illustrations done by Cameron Bennett, is written in rhyme (which children LOVE), it is a quick-read (40 pages, which Moms and Dads love at bedtime!) and in my opinion is ideal for children ages 6 and under.

So there you have it! I would say those are some pretty great children's books that should be in EVERY cat lover's children's library at home, school, and in your public library! 


  1. I'm very upset that I have no grandchildren to share these books with.

    1. could donate some to a Woman's Shelter or a Children's ward of a hospital :)

  2. Caren... Thank you so much for the wonderful post.!!!

    We love you
    Hugs, Bugs, Knuckles, and Lou

    1. You are most welcome Lou!!! My pleasure!!!!! We love you too!

  3. Wow, lools like mama had better get to work...

  4. That's a nice bunch of books with such fabulous illustrations!

  5. Thanks for this list. We have a little bean in the family who would enjoy these books.

    Emma and Buster

  6. How fun. This is a very fun post. I linked it to Awww Mondays. Couldn't help myself.

    Have a purrfect day, Cody. My best to your mom. ♥♥♥

    1. Thank you so much Sandee!! Hoping you had a most pawesome Easter! Have a pawfect day!!! xoxo

  7. Thank you so much for including my Lucky Cat Paper Doll Book! It is still one of the most joyous illustration projects of my career. Sadly, my sweet Tommie and Gracie have both gone to the Bridge, but I feel lucky to have been able to share them!

    1. you are most welcome!! I hesitated for a moment posting it because I knew that Tommie and Gracie passed, but this book was soooo adorable (and IS so adorable) that I had to! xoxo

  8. Great books ! We wish some of them were translated in French for Claire's pupils ! Purrs

  9. Mom & I just love childrens' stories with cats in them and we especially love to look at the illustrations! What a wonderful collection of books you mention here in your post! I can't decide which I want to read first! Purrs!

  10. Great list of books. I love Pam's :) You should add a link to this at the Unleashing Readers blog hop today, it is for kiiddy lit :) XO

    1. thanks! I love Pam's too! I don't follow that blog so I wouldn't add something when I have no clue where or what it is lol, but thank you!

  11. What a timely will be buying a bday gift at the end of April for
    a young friend of ours.
    Thank you Hugs madi your bfff

  12. Aww I'm going to add some of these to my baby's nursery! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

    1. Now THAT made me smile!!!! Sending you, that handsome hubby of yours and baby lots of love! xoxo

  13. These books look so interesting. Thanks Cody and Caren.


  14. These all sound like delightful reads and it makes me wish i had an unlimited book budget!

  15. Caren I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart for including my book in your kids' book line-up. That book was one of my favorite projects EVER and while it was written and published a long time ago, its' messages in the form of fables STILL strikes a chord with kids I think. You are a sweetie...........

    Love, Pam

    1. Muah!!! It is my pleasure!!!!! It was fun going through my archives because I had forgotten so many of these!! I didn't realize I had featured yours so long ago!! Love you!

  16. Those books all look like so much fun to read to wee ones, and even for the one doing the reading! I remember my mom & dad reading some sweet little books, in Dutch, about a little black kitty who was lost at Christmastime and then found and loved forever. No idea of the title, too long ago, MOL! We have many books here too with cats in them...

  17. Thank you for this list ! I already purchased a few for my Kindle so I can share !

    Years ago I read (or was read to) a story about two kittens who lived in the Museum of Natural History in NYC and liked to climb on the dinosaur skeletons. They were orange and black, but were called Blackie and Pinky, :because you can;t call a cat Orangey." I have no idea what the title was, but like The Mews & Woofs, I would love to know if anyone else remember it. Not even the long-time Bookmobile Lady remembers.

  18. I've become obsessed with children's books that feature cats...they are just getting better all the time! I'm familiar with some of these, but not all. The Odie books look especially darling.

  19. Don't forget Kimberley Koz' book "Finding Mya"!

  20. I have a small collection of children's cat books - I'll definitely have to keep this list handy for adding to it!

  21. So many great books for a variety of ages, and all with cats. I looked at one publisher for my book and they won’t touch cats or dog stories no matter how good. Great to see HH and the Boys there too. Thanks for a great review of all of these books.
    Toodle pips