Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Picture Book: Where is Catkin? (by Janet Lord)

Summary of Where is Catkin? 
Catkin roguishly flees his owner’s lap to hunt out the sights and sounds in his backyard habitat.  The golden kitty comes upon a cricket in the grass, a frog in a pond, a mouse near the shed, and a snake in a rock pile, but each creature easily eludes capture.   The story follows a pattern (parts in bold change with each new encounter):

Catkin creeps by the pond.
He sees something green and spotted.
Garrump. Garrump.
Catkin leaps…(turn page)

Frog leaps into the pond.
Where is Frog?

Then, Catkin hears a rustle in the tree—a bird.  Feathers fly.  The bird gets away.  The sneaky cat climbs up, up, up the tree in search of it.  Catkin looks down to realize he is high, high, high.  He lets out a loud “Meeeow,” prompting his owner, Amy, to search for him in the grass, in the pond, near the shed, and in the rock pile.   She looks up and finds her mischievous kitty.  Rescued and back on land, Catkin is purrfectly content in Amy’s arms. 

Janet Lord skillfully uses repetition in this interactive tale.  Using textual and visual clues, children will enjoy guessing and finding the hunted creatures in a tapestry of leaves, flowers, and rocks created by illustrator Julie Paschkis.  Stylized borders in vibrant colors maintain the rollicking hunting action.  Children ages 2-6 are sure to adore reading Where is Catkin?

Teaching Opportunities 
·         Choral Reading—Practice saying one or more of the repetitive parts together or take turns with them. 
·         Vocabulary—Children can learn to identify places and animals in a backyard habitat.
·         Parts of Speech—Identify the various actions that Catkin depicts, such as creeps, tiptoes, explores, hears, races, and so forth.   With older children, discuss the differences between the action words (verbs) and the visual/seeing words (nouns).
·         Onomatopoeia—Practice saying the animal sounds and matching it with the correct animal.
·         Science—Explore a  backyard habitat together.
·         Creative Movement—Move like Catkin.  First, teach how to creep, tiptoe, race, and other actions like Catkin demonstrates in the book.  Then, play “Catkin Says” by directing the child (children) to do the action directed. 
·         Predicting Skills—Guess which animal Catkin is hunting based on the context clues.  Anticipate after multiple readings which one is next.  Childrent can, also, relate back the sequence of events in the story.


  1. We read this last year and enjoyed it. It's not your average search and find...such wonderful illustrations.

  2. This looks like a wonderful book for the preschool set! I'll keep it in mind for my little one. Thanks for linking up to RAT!

  3. Seems good..Hope it's as good as it looks..


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