August 17 – Black Cat Appreciation Day

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About the Holiday

Because black cats have become associated with bad luck, they are more likely to end up in animal shelters and less likely to be adopted. Today’s holiday was established to raise awareness of this fact and assure people that black cats are just as loveable, cuddly, and purr-fect as other cats. If you’re thinking of adopting a new pet, why not consider a black cat like the subject of today’s book!

Splat the Cat and the Late Library Book

By Rob Scotton

 

Splat’s toy box and closet are overflowing with stuff Splat doesn’t use anymore. His mom suggests that they give some of it away to kids who need it more. While Splat likes the idea, he’s a little afraid to open his closet door, because whenever he does…SPLAT! Splat recovers from being covered, though, and separates his things into three piles: Trash, Keep, and Donate.

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Image copyright Rob Scotton, courtesy of HarperCollins

Splat has fun showing Seymour his mouse friend his old clothes and toys until he comes upon an old library book—a very old library book—a way, way overdue library book! Suddenly, Splat’s dad comes in to see how things are progressing. He thinks Splat is doing a great job and starts gathering up the clothes for the local shelter, the toys for the children’s hospital, and the books for the downtown library. “‘Not the library!’” Splat shouts. “‘Why not?’” asks his dad. “‘They’re having a book drive today to get more books. People don’t always return the ones they check out.’”

Poor Splat! His tail wiggles wildly as he imagines how ginormous the fine will be. Maybe he’ll be sent to jail. Or perhaps he’ll have to walk the plank. Splat grabs his piggy bank, hoping to find enough money for the fine, but only a thin quarter rolls from the slot. All too soon, the family is headed out to deliver their donations. At the shelter Splat tries to help carry in boxes, but maybe he’s too distracted because everything just goes SPLAT! Things go better at the hospital where the kids love getting all the new toys.

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Image copyright Rob Scotton, courtesy of HarperCollins

As his parents wheel the pile of books into the library, Splat tries to run the other way but his mom catches him by the tail. Inside Mrs. Sardino, the librarian, is very impressed with their donation. She rattles on and on about how hard it is to give away books and how many she has at her own house and…Splat can’t take it anymore. “‘I did it!’” he confesses. “‘My library book is WAY overdue. I didn’t mean to. I just loved the book so much I didn’t want to return it. And I loved it so much I hid it in my closet. And then I forgot that I’d hid it.’”

He’s ready to take his punishment when Mrs. Sardino interrupts him. “‘Um, Splat,’” she says. “‘It’s only a week overdue. You owe twenty-five cents.’” Splat reaches into his pocket and pulls out his quarter. “‘That’s okay,’” Mrs. Sardino tells him. “‘This time I think we can let it go. Besides, your generous donation more than makes up for it.’”

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Image copyright Rob Scotton, courtesy of HarperCollins

Fans of Splat the Cat will love this new adventure that addresses common concerns of kids who not only forget to return a library book but are remiss in any other number of required actions—homework, permission slips, housework, etc. Splat the Cat and the Late Library Book reveals that often the perceived infraction and it’s “punishment” far outweigh the reality. Relief from fear and worry is only a conversation away.

New readers will find that Splat is endearing, Seymour a faithful best friend, and his parents and other adults loving and understanding. They will want to explore the whole series. Each vividly colored page provides plenty of giggles as Splat contends with his overstuffed closet, tries on way-too-small clothes, envisions his prison and pirate punishments, tries to run away, and of course goes SPLAT in the process. The fast-paced action and comical scenarios make this a perfect read for story times or bedtime. Discovering this black cat is very good luck indeed!

Ages 3 – 8

Harper Festival, Harper Collins, 2016 | ISBN 978-0062294296

Enter the world of Splat the Cat on Rob Scotton‘s website!

Black Cat Appreciation Day Activity

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Playful Cat Dot-to-Dot

 

Discover what the cat is doing in this printable Playful Cat Dot-to-Dot. Then color it!

Picture Book Review

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