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“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read.”
Summary: Splat doesn't want to go to school. He has tried every excuse: a bad fur day, no clean socks; but Mom insists. Splat is going to school. He packs Seymour (a mouse) in his lunchbox so that he has a friend. When his teacher explains that cats chase mice, Splat gets nervous. When the other cats see Seymour, they start chasing him. Oh no! What will Splat do? Will he be the hero cat or the laughing stock? This picture book helps kids understand that it is okay to be nervous and that asking questions is a good thing.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, family reading, easy reader, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 3 to 6
Reading Level: 1
Age of Child: Read together with a nearly 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter liked Splat and Seymour, especially when Seymour hid behind the glass! We worked through some of the unfamiliar words, but she moved fairly smoothly through the story. The story repeated the new words enough to help reinforce them for her.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a cute story and a very cute cat! Even though it opens with a first-day-of-school theme, it is much broader than that. We loved that Splat persevered in trying to understand "why" in the face of his teacher's answer about why cats chase mice. [Her answer was, essentially, "just because."] The story helps kids see that sometimes questioning the "why" can lead to good things.
Pros: This is a year-round story that helps kids understand their feelings (fear, being different) and the power of asking questions.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is one of those rare first-day-of-school books that has year-round value. Yes, it is a great book to have for those first-day-of-school jitters for preschool and Kindergarten. First graders who read it for themselves will also find the story helpful.
Educational Themes: There are lots of ways to go with this story. It moves beyond just the first-day-of-school jitters and gives kids phrases like "I'm amazing," that they can immediately adopt for themselves. Splat is quite expressive, and you can use this as a wordless book to talk about feelings: nervous, scared, worried, happy, surprised, scary, and sad among others). Definitely explore friendship: Splat's friendship with Seymour, his fear of making friends, and his loyalty to Seymour, too.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 1.0
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, school
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews at barnesandnoble.com. No reader feedback found.