Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood

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My three girls have been big fans of Deborah Underwood’s “Cat” series since we first discovered Here Comes Easter Cat almost two years ago. The girls were delighted by the mischievous and sarcastic cat, who just happens to have a heart of gold under his snarky façade.

Here Comes Valentine Cat follows the format of the other books: the narrator speaks directly to Cat, who responds by holding up signboards with his responses. Because cats don’t talk, of course!

Valentine’s Day is coming, and the narrator wants to know if Cat has any plans. Cat indicates that there is a dog who lives next door, but he thinks the dog is annoying. Cat plans to make some mean valentines, and to send the dog to the moon- but is the dog really as annoying as Cat says he is?

Claudia Rueda’s illustrations are just lovely. It’s a rather unique concept to have Cat communicate through signboards, and Rueda captures this perfectly.     The illustrations are relatively plain, so there is an emphasis on Cat’s facial expressions. And boy, does Cat have a lot of facial expressions. From his trademark sneer to his looks of surprise, you can always tell what Cat is thinking. You might not know what he’s going to do next, but you always know how he feels!

I would absolutely recommend Here Comes Valentine’s Cat. This is a funny story that will appeal to children as young as preschool age, but will surely charm even elementary school kids. There’s a very nice lesson about friendship among the silliness, and this is just such a sweet and funny story. I would recommend the other Cat books as well, and I can’t wait to see what Cat’s next adventure will be!

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