About the Holiday
Created by former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, now president of the Association of American Publishers, Get Caught Reading Month promotes good reading habits and encourages people of all ages to take part in the fun of reading. Reading to young children is especially important as research indicates that early language experience stimulates a child’s brain to grow and gives kids a huge advantage when they start school. Whether you like fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels, or comics, there is an amazing book just waiting on a shelf for you!
Written by Suzi Moore | Illustrated by Russell Ayto
This is the cat that can’t meow. And here’s the dog that can’t bowwow. And the little mouse when she tries to squeak? She opens her mouth but she just can’t squeak.
But the owl says to the three “‘Find the old lady in the tumbledown house. She’ll have a spell to make you all well.” So they go in search of the tumbledown house and find it in the middle of the woods. When they go inside, the little old lady doesn’t seem surprised to see them. In fact she’s heard of their problem and consults her spell book. She casts a spell “and the whole house shook, the wind blew in and the rain came down. Then the tumbledown house turned around and around.”
Now the cat says, “Cluck!” And the dog says, “Quack!” And the mouse says, “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” And the little old lady? She says, “Whoops!” Maybe the right spell is on page three. She casts a new spell and there’s a flash and a crash and the tumbledown house turns around and around. This time the cat says, “Baa!” and the dog says, “Neigh!” and the mouse says, “Moo!” And the little old lady? She says, “Whoops!”
The spell on page seven brings the three closer: the cat says, “Woof!” and the dog says, “Squeak!” and the mouse says, “Meow!” And the little old lady? She says, “Whoops!” That special spell to make them all well must be on page ten. The old lady waves her wand and the storm rages and the tumbledown house turns around and around. Finally, the cat says, “Meow!” and the dog says, “Woof!” and the mouse says, “Squeak!”” And the little old lady? She says, “CROAK!”
Suzi Moore’s laugh-out-loud, shout-out-loud tale of mistaken identity will have kids reading along during the first go-round. The catchy, repeated rhymes, cadence of the words and sentences, errant spells, and building storm create infectious silliness at its best. Kids will eagerly await what comes next for the dog and the cat and the mouse who have trouble speaking.
Russell Ayto accompanies this fun story with a crazy assortment of creatures drawn with maximum comic effect. The thin, angled shapes of the cat, dog, and mouse make for heroes kids will root for, and the little old lady with a cloud of blue hair sitting in the taaall-backed chair will make kids giggle. Who is she knitting three-legged stockings for? And what magic does her knitting-needle wand and maniacal grin possess in that narrow tumbledown house in the middle of the woods?
Ages 3 – 7
Templar Books, Candlewick Press, 2016 | ISBN 978-0763681807
Get Caught Reading Month Activity
Reading is Magic! Wand
When you read you are transported into another world—it’s like being under a magic spell! Make your own magic wand and conjure up spells to take you wherever you want to go!
- Wooden dowel
- Wooden ball with a hole to match the size of the dowel
- Paint in your favorite colors
- Ribbon, jewels, or other material to decorate your wand
- Glue gun or strong glue
- Paint the dowel however you would like—one color, with dots or stripes, or multicolored
- Paint the wooden ball—you can even give it a mystical look with glow-in-the-dark paint or glitter
- Glue the wooden ball to the dowel with the hot glue gun or strong glue
- Decorate your wand with jewels, ribbon, or other material