In cut-paper artist Nikki McClure’s latest picture book, a kitten practices the basics of feline behavior over the course of a day. A single word of text per spread teaches readers “how to be a cat”—how to stretch, clean, pounce, feast—while the striking paper cuts illustrate the kitten’s attempts to imitate an adult cat’s mastery of each skill. At times the kitten triumphantly succeeds, and at other times the kitten struggles, in vignettes that range from whimsical to profound.
A celebration of all things feline, How to Be a Cat also tells a universal story of mastering life skills, and of the sometimes tender, sometimes stern relationship between parent and child, teacher and pupil. Cat lovers of all ages will connect to this loving portrayal of a mentor-student relationship.
Praise for How to Be a Cat
"Purrrrfect for beginning readers and little artists with an eye for fine cut-paper compositions and craftsmanship."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A delightful picture book in every way. Beginning with the paw-print endpapers, youngsters will know that they are in for an adventure. The simplicity and flow of page design are beautifully done as viewers follow a kitten and his mother as she teaches him basic feline behavior."
—School Library Journal, starred review
"McClure's cut-paper spreads can be mesmerizing."
"McClure wonderfully captures the shape and movement of the feline form, and kids will also enjoy pointing out the blue and white butterflies and the black-capped chickadee that also appear on several pages."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Perfect for cat lovers of all ages, the book helps us reconnect with memories of our own jouney of growth and learning."
About the Author
Nikki McClure is a self-taught cut-paper artist known for her calendar and gift line. She is the author and illustrator of Mama, Is It Summer Yet?; To Market, To Market; Apple; How to Be a Cat; and the illustrator of All in a Day, written by Cynthia Rylant, and May the Stars Drip Down, written by Jeremy Chatelain. Visit her at nikkimcclure.com. McClure lives in Olympia, Washington.