Book Review: Meow: Cat Stories from Around the World

Meow: Cat Stories from Around the World
By Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Hala Wittwer
HarperCollins Publishers, LLC, 2005
Age Range: Ages 5 and Up

Our mini-course in animal folk tales continued this week with Jane Yolen’s Meow: Cat Stories from Around the World. Yolen’s collection mixes familiar nursery rhymes and Aesop fables with lesser known stories from India, Burma, Oman, and Thailand. Within its pages, you and your child will discover why tiger is angry at cat, why cat always lands on her feet, why having one very good trick is better than having dozens of poor ones, and most importantly, why cats and mice don’t always get along.

The language is accessible, the stories short, engaging, not too scary, and fun to read aloud. Every page includes a vibrant, beautifully wrought illustration by Hala Wittwer which alternately depict cats as gentle, curious, cunning, affectionate, lazy, sorrowful, and sly.

This book was a hit in our household, but I suppose given The Four-Year-Old’s Five-Year-Old’s passion for cats, that was never really in doubt.

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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