________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 21 . . . . June 23, 2000

cover Cat Nap.

Keith Potter. Illustrated by Keith Potter & Jana Leo.
San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books (Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books), 1999.
48 pp., cl., $19.95.
ISBN 0-8118-2069-6.

Subject Headings:
Cheetah-Juvenile literature.
Lions-Juvenile literature.
Tigers-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 4 / Ages 4-9.
Review by Liz Greenaway.

**** /4


We are Edgar, the Blue-Toed Tiger, Ryan Lion and Miss Cheetah. Join us as we leave camp and set off to meet three of the world's most ferocious felines.
image Cat Nap invites the young reader to follow these three quirky "Doodlecats" as they "journey" across Africa and India to discover how big cats - namely, lions, tigers and cheetahs - live. Using color illustrations and computer artwork, the "cats" appear with the photos of big cats, making comments like "wow...face to face with a real in-the-steamy-jungle wild tiger!" I couldn't quite decide if the asides weren't more geared for adult readers than children. Whether or not this approach works to make non-fiction more accessible to the young reader remains to be seen. Be this as it may, Cat Nap is an excellent introduction to wild cats for young readers.

The spreads of the wild cats are gorgeous and show the animals in their natural habitats, swimming, sleeping, hunting. The text and sidebars provide a wealth of information that will intrigue young readers, whether they come to do research or just to satisfy their own curiosity.

Did you know that cheetahs are the only cats that don't roar, but rather make a chirping sound?

Or that no two tigers have the same stripes?

Or that lions can eat up to 60 lbs of meat in a single feeding? (No wonder they can sleep up to 20 hours a day!)

By the end of the book, the doodlecats were growing on me. But, in their own words, their "bungle in the jungle had come to an end." It's clear with the simultaneous publication of Seven Weeks on an Iceberg that it won't be the last we see of the doodlezoo. Cat Nap is an excellent, and dare I say, fun resource for any home or school library.

Highly Recommended.

Liz Greenaway, a former bookseller and parent of two small children, lives in Edmonton, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364