Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cat Tale

Hall, Michael. 2012. CAT TALE. Ill. by Michael Hall. New York, NY: Greenwillow. ISBN 9780061915161 [Suggested Grade Levels 1-6]

Lillian, Tilly, and William J. are inquisitive cats who plan to spend the afternoon just reading and having a few snacks. Instead, after packing “some books and kitty chews,” they choose a spot, but “spot some ewes.” From then on, their plans are out of whack as they “use a box to hide from bees,” “do their best to box some flees,” and even “flee a steer” and “steer a plane.” The chase is on they move from homophone and homograph as each phrase leads to another. Before long, their tongues twist on tongue twisters in this delightful exploration of words.

There is so much to say about this book. To begin with, it is just a lot of fun. The simple start of the book belies the fun and intricacy of how the words wind and twist and twist again. Hall’s colorful illustrations of painted acrylic texture and paper cutouts that are combined digitally--and the cute cats give a visual treat. It is also a book that has classroom implications for the study of homographs and homophones and rhyme as well as word and sentence structure—and a little spelling. But whether read for fun or used for looking at words in an academic context—it is a “cat tale” worth reading.

Use a document camera to have students look for the homophones and homographs. Use these words as a weekly spelling list.

Look for the rhymes in the book. Have students find other words that rhyme with the words they find.

Have a contest to see who can say the tongue twisters the most times without making a mistake.

Other books by Michael Hall:
MY HEART IS LIKE A ZOO. ISBN 9780061915109
PERFECT SQUARE. ISBN 9780061915130

By Janet Hilbun

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