Book Review: Three More Stories You Can Read to Your Cat

Review cross-posted on our sister site:

Three More Stories You Can Read to Your Cat
By Sara Swan Miller
Illustrated by True Kelley
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002
Age Range: Ages 8 and up

As Sara Swan Miller explains in her introduction to this collection, cats sleep a lot because they get bored a lot. Since you and I know that reading books is one of the best ways to counter an attack of boredom, she explains, one of the nicest things you can do for your feline friend when boredom has flattened him on the couch is to entice your cat onto your lap and with a soft voice and gentle petting read him a story. After all, “Cats always like to hear stories about themselves.”

It turns out that pretend cats also like to hear stories about cats, which is why I found myself yesterday afternoon with a preschooler and a purring grey tabby competing for space on my lap while we read this book.

This was particularly remarkable, because Cozy generally goes out of his way to avoid storytime. But now that we’ve repeated this experiment several times, I can safely describe this collection of stories as literary catnip for the finicky cat. So long as your lap has a bit of space, a cat is sure to climb into it and listen when you crack open this book.

Given the repeated demands from both real and pretend felines for encore performances, it’s fortunate that Miller’s stories are fun to read. Miller and True Kelley, the illustrator, certainly know their cats. They portray our feline overlords with an affectionate teasing tone that makes this collection of stories as fun for the parent to read as it is for the child and her preferred pet to hear.

Which is why The Four-Year-Old and I have had this book in nearly constant rotation in our storytime sessions ever since we first checked it out of the library. And why I’m going to encourage my childless cat-loving readers out there to check out this book at their local library whenever you are in need of a chuckle or two. Whether or not you have a child is not the key ingredient for enjoying this book. Having (or having had) a cat is.

PSST, dog lovers: There’s no need to feel left out, Sara Swan Miller also has at least two books full of stories you can read to your dog.

And now it’s your turn. What are you reading this week?

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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