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Too Many Cats (Step into Reading) Paperback – Picture Book, January 13, 2009
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About the Author
Joe Mathieu is the illustrator of Too Many Dogs, as well as Big Mike’s Police Car, Dogs Don’t Wear Sneakers, Oh, the Pets You Can Get!, and many Sesame Street titles. He lives in Brooklyn, Connecticut.
- Publisher : Random House Books for Young Readers; Illustrated edition (January 13, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0375851976
- ISBN-13 : 978-0375851971
- Reading age : 4 - 6 years
- Lexile measure : 70L
- Grade level : Preschool - 1
- Item Weight : 2.61 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.13 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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"Too Many Cats" by Lori Haskins Houran is a fun story about the different kinds of cats. There are stinky cats, and slinky cats, and even a silly cat.
The book is a part of the Step Into Reading series and is a Level One book. Books in this series are divided into 5 levels and an explanation and guide to each of the levels can be found on the back cover of the book.
Level One books are geared for children in Preschool through Kindergarten, who are "ready to read". These readers are written using a whole language approach to reading versus a phonics approach.
In an article from Reading Horizons, the whole language approach "is a method of teaching children to read by recognizing words as whole pieces of language. Proponents of the whole language philosophy believe that language should not be broken down into letters and combinations of letters and “decoded.” Instead, they believe that language is a complete system of making meaning, with words functioning in relation to each other in context."
It is because Step Into Reading books use this approach that I purchased the book Too Many Cats for my 3-year-old grandson, Owen.
I am fortunate to see my grandson several times a week and we have settled into a comfortable daily routine. Our routine includes a "literacy time" and during this time I focus on activities that encourage Owen to strengthen and develop the toolset used in learning to read.
Owen can identify all of his letters and he knows each of the letter sounds. If a letter has more than one sound, for example letter "g", he knows both letter sounds.
However, I have noticed my grandson struggles to take the next phonics step of blending sounds, so I have decided to include more whole language activities during our literacy time.
It is my experience that a child's approach to learning to read is similar to developing a dominant hand. Likewise, some children respond better to the whole language approach and some to phonics,
It is the child's brain that ultimately decides which approach works better.
Moreover, a vast majority of children do best when given a blended approach to learning to read. This blended approach is what I am currently using with Owen, and it seems to be working.
Owen is already able to confidently identify more than 30 sight words. Maybe it is because of this foundation, that he was able to "read" many of the easier pages in the book Too Many Cats fairly quickly.
Certainly, I was please as I watched Owen's confidence grow as he worked to decode the words on each page.
One of Owen favorite parts was the page which reads "Hurry, hurry, hurry cat". He let out a little gasp of excitement and eagerly turned the page to see what would come next.
We were both a little shocked when the story switched gears and we read "nice cat" and "mean cat". So we went back and looked for clues as to whether or not the cat on the previous page had escaped.
I tried using the "white cat" "green cat" pages of the story in the same manner and, although, Owen quickly understood how the cat became green; he didn't quite grasp the idea that the fence was white to begin with. Instead he reasoned it was because the cat was white.
The humorous and engaging illustrations by Joe Mathieu, depicting the various cats, helped Owen remember the unfamiliar words used to describe the different cats.
From the gray cats, to rich cats, and stray cats; the engaging pictures provided clues.
This process helped Owen to practice using pictures as clues and to decode the meaning of a word or passage in a story. This strategy is often referred to as "detecting" and is it is frequently used conjunction with guided reading practices. Reading strategies, such as these, are especially useful for children learning to read.
I won't go into more detail in my review, but if you would like to know more about this early reading strategies I recommend visiting AsuteHoot. You find an entire blog devoted to good reading practices.
The most touching part, of this rather lengthy post, occurred several days later, when I heard Owen's soft little voice singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" intertwined with what I can only describe as cooing sounds.
When I went into our bedroom to investigate, I found our dear grandson singing to two of our cats, Abbey and JoJo.
When I asked why he was singing to the cats, he replied, "I tryin to get 'em to yowls like in my book."
I had to good chuckle at Owen's attempts to get Abbey or JoJo to "sing" like those in his book and the memory brings a smile to my face as I write this review.
I am sorry to say, neither cat made any sound but I don't think our grandson has given up just yet.
Owen can be a very determined little chap and doesn't give up on an idea easily.
On another note, I can easily see how the book, Too Many Cats by Lori Haskins Houran could be used with older children learning about adjectives, or with students to practice using a thesaurus.
However, this review is all ready quite lengthy. so I won't go into any further details.
Instead, I close by "singing" my praise of the book Too Many Cats and I hope the children in your life enjoy it as much as we do.
**Lexile Levels or Measures are helpful in many ways; but most of all, to find books that are just right for a reader's ability. A book's Lexile Measure can also be found under "Amazon Product Description" along with a short description of what a "lexile measure" represents. However, it has been my experience this detail often gets missed or glossed over, giving me yet another reason to highlight this important information in my reviews.
Top reviews from other countries
Good start for reading
She loves the pictures I have to read it to her again and again
One day she will do it :)