Mama Said I Could Have a Cat! i Mamá dijo que yo pudiera tener un gato! By S.J. Bushue and Deb McQueen. Book Review.


Click on theClick on the cover to buy the book.

This is another bilingual book produced by The Little Fig. It is in Spanish and English. It consists of double-page spreads with full color illustrations and superimposed English words on the left page in Spanish words on the right page.

It begins, “Mama said I could have a cat. My Daddy agreed, too. Now it’s time for me to pick. Which one will I choose?”

On each subsequent page she examines different types of wild cats: caracal, cheetah, fishing cat, Geoffroy’s cat, leopard, lion, lynx, margay, pallas cat, pampas cat, rusty-spotted cat, sand cat, serval, and tiger. I was unfamiliar with several of these cats and animals genuinely interest me. I think it might be a bit of information overload.

As the girl considers each cat, she describes some of their important characteristics. There are funny moments such as, “Should I get a Geoffroy’s cat who sleeps all day in the breeze? They hunt up high and on the ground but only poop in trees.” Each consideration ends with the words, “Maybe not this one.”

The book is written in loose rhyme with some almost rhymes. The rhythm stumbles a little.

At the end of the book, the little girl goes to the Hometown Animal Shelter Adoption Center and chooses a house cat. On the last page, a kitchen holds a sign that says, “adopt a pet.” Then the book reads, “A portion of profits on book sales will be given to provide care to animals in need.”

What a wonderful book to get a child who wants a cat. It is a humorous way to approach the subject. Of course, a book on house cat care would also need to be shared. But this book, is a subtle and funny way to plant the seed that the best pet to get is a rescue cat. (Avoid cats from pet stores. Most of them come from breeders who provide minimum care for the animals and cause great suffering.)

The Little Fig has a catchy little ditty to go along with the book on their website . You can also listen to the book being read in Spanish  on YouTube.

The Little Fig has wonderful resources for bilingual students and immigrants who are learning English as a second language.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages


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