Cats are introduced into our lives almost from birth and become popular companions through the books, songs and nursery rhymes shared with children. From the very beginning the nursery rhymes “The Three Little Kittens” and “Hey Diddle Diddle”, the stories “The Tale Of Tom Kitten”, “Puss In Boots”, and “The Owl And The Pussycat” and many more introduce cats and kittens to us and become part of our world. As beginning readers children discover “The Cat In The Hat”, “Kittens First Full Moon”, “Bad Kitty”, “Mog The Cat” and more and the cat becomes part of the daily life of the young. Whether they have actually ever encountered a real cat or not. Finding cats in books make them real and part of their lives.
Books for beginning and emerging readers are full of cat characters – and children love them. Goodreads has a list of 355 children’s picture books about cats! And these are books where the cat is the main character. There are many other books with cats as secondary characters such as Wilbur the cat in “Winnie The Witch” by Korky Paul and Valerie Thomas. It is no wonder we have such a love affair with the creatures.
One of the most popular books with elementary grade readers is the Warrior Cat series by Erin Hunter which runs to over 30 books, has a manga series, a super series, and a set of guides to help readers untangle all the cat characters. Popular with both girls and boys these books are incredibly popular and have a huge fan base. These warrior cats have clans and family trees and have elaborate worlds for young readers to explore and decipher. And they are cats. Such is the popularity of the cat when vast numbers of young readers spend time in the company of the feline.