Written and Illustrated by Emma Dodd
Little, Brown and Company, 2009
I don’t want a cool cat.
A treat-me-like-a-fool cat.
The plot in a nutshell: A girl searches for the perfect cat.
The narrator of our story wants a cat, but she has a specific type of cat in mind. Actually, she is more keenly aware of what she doesn’t want in a cat. She doesn’t want her cat to be huffy or ready for a fight. She doesn’t want a cat who only cares about food or is a fancy show cat. She doesn’t want a cat who howls or a cat who is too big or too small. She just wants a cat who is the right size, who wants to cuddle in her lap and be happy to see her. A cat who will be her own.
Author/illustrator Emma Dodd has written and/or illustrated many books and many of them focus on animals. This book is a follow-up to I Don’t Want a Posh Dog, in which the same girl from this book explains all the traits she’s looking for in the perfect dog. I think this is one of those stories whose message changes based on your point of view. Some may see it as a negative story, reinforcing the idea of being too particular and rejecting any pet that doesn’t fit your ideal standards. But I feel like this girl is just looking for the cat who makes a connection with her and feels like her cat.
The illustrations show all the different kinds of cats portrayed in comical exaggeration that match up perfectly with the fun jazzy meter of the book’s rhyming text. We get to see the girl trying to interact with most of the cats mentioned in the text and it looks to me like she is making an effort to connect with each of them, which may be why I feel more positive about the book. It’s a quick read that’s nothing really special, but I would recommend it to cat lovers for sure.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that there are so many different types of pets out there. If you know what you want and know where to look, you’re sure to find the right one for you.