Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Wordless Book for All Cat Lovers

Franki and I were just talking about how much we both love wordless books. The possibilities for use in the classroom are endless, spanning from enjoyment and appreciation of the ability of the artist to communicate the story without words, right through differentiation for students who are striving text readers and ELLs.

I have been a fan of the Simon's Cat videos on YouTube since the first one came out in 2008. You've never seen them? Okay, take a minute and watch this:

Simon Tofield, the cartoonist, does so much with gestures, facial expressions, and, of course, a deep and personal knowledge of cat behavior.

Tofield, who struggled with dyslexia as a child and who was constantly urged to quit drawing and focus on getting a "proper job," created the first animation when teaching himself to use some animation software. He is now adding new videos to the Simon's Cat website on a monthly basis, and there are all kinds of Simon's Cat items for purchase, a soft toy and a newspaper strip. And there are books.

by Simon Tofield
Akashic Books, on shelves April 16, 2013
review copy provided by the publisher

In this book, Simon finds a kitten, abandoned in a rainstorm in a cardboard box. He brings it home and every manner of chaos ensues. There is the getting-to-know-you phase, the competing-for-attention phase, the I-terrorize-you-you-terrorize-me phase, and finally, the I-guess-we-can-get-along phase.

As much as this book is about a single-cat family with a new kitten, this can probably also be read as a single-child family with a new sibling. Kids will be able to relate; parents (and cat owners) will giggle, chortle, and sometimes laugh until tears stream down their faces.

Move over, Garfield. Simon's Cat is the new funny fat cat in town!

1 comment:

  1. I think that wordless books are awesome because students can interpret them in whatever way they like. They can take them for what they literally are, or develop a new, deeper meaning.


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