Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

How to Talk to Your Cat

Meisel, Paul (Illustrator)
HarperCollins 2003. 28 pages
First published: 2000
ISBN: 9780060006228 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

character, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Renowned children’s author Jean Craighead George shares her love of cats in this thorough book about cat behaviour. It takes readers into the mind of cats by explaining how and why cats communicate with each other and with humans. Facial expressions, actions, body language and vocal sounds are clearly explained: “When your cat rubs its head on your leg or arm, it is saying hello to you.” It also explains how cats socialize with each other.

The book combines lively illustrations of cats, each with its own distinct personality, with photos of the author physically interacting with them. In one spread, the author is down on her hands and knees, respectfully rubbing heads with a cartoon calico cat.

The lengthy and detailed narrative is made accessible through the use of simple vocabulary and short sentences. The tone is light and the author’s passion for cats shines through. Sentences are occasionally set in boldface type to emphasize a specific characteristic that helps readers understand cats.

A good introduction for any reader who has or wants a pet cat, there are many fascinating facts that all readers will appreciate.

  •  

    Name a famous movie with a cat as protagonist. Create a Venn diagram comparing this cat with those described in the book.

  •  

    Survey the class. How many students have cats, compared to other pets? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having cats as pets.

  •  Write a journal entry from a cat’s perspective. Use vocabulary and expressions from the book to enhance your writing.
  •  

    Study a cat’s body language (your own cat, if possible) to see if you can detect the same messages as the author. Take photos and write captions for your own Talk to Your Cat book. 

  •  

    With a partner, compare the described cat communications to those presented in other books about cats. Use the information in the text and the illustration to support your argument.

  •  

    Create a new version of this booklet featuring another animal’s body language. You may choose to present the material in a film format.

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