Monday, January 29, 2007

Animal Book Spotlight

The following book review is featured in this week's issue of "Our Place to Paws." If you'd like to subscribe and read more book reviews, informative and fun animal stories, and words from our "columnists," please email: and put Subscribe: Our Place to Paws in the subject line. Thanks, and enjoy!

Did you know that Manx cats are named for the Isle of Man, where they are mainly found? Or that some cats—like the Oriental Lilac Cat—actually have pink fur?

Usborne’s new CATS STICKER BOOK (ISBN 0 7945 1584 3) by Sophy Tahta, features 24 pages of cats, grouped together by features/and or heritage. These groupings help young cat lovers to learn to distinguish, for instance, the markings that designate a Tabby cat from the those that designate a Tortoiseshell cat. Curly-coated cats, Tailless cats, Abyssinian cats, and Siamese cats, and lots of others, are all accounted for.

Along with a faded image of each cat (onto which the user will place the appropriate vividly-colored sticker) there is a paragraph further identifying each feline, and providing little-known facts like those mentioned above. There is also a place for cat watchers to record when and where they actually catch their first glimpse of a particular feline in real life. The stock of the pages in this book, therefore, is worth mentioning. These are heavy semi-glossy pages that should hold up just fine not only through the stickering process but also through all the years it can take to actually identify each cat, and then all the years beyond that that a cat lover might want to keep such a record.

The cat stickers (six artists created the 90 cat images) are not only expressive and well-illustrated but also easy to peel and easy to place. They are located in the middle of the book. A back-of-the-book check list provides page numbers for each sticker placement, ensuring that young cat lovers don’t succumb to frustration before they are able to place all the cats.

CAT STICKERS BOOK is a must for anyone who loves cats. It’s fun, it’s informative, and it gives young readers growing up in this age of ‘sound-bites” an opportunity to work on a rewarding long-term project. Priced at $8.99, it’s irresistible. (Other animal books by this publisher can be found at

CATS STICKER BOOK is reviewed by Joan Schweighardt, the author of GUDRUN’S TAPESTRY and other novels. Over the years Joan has counted among her closest friends Zelma, Cleo, and Speedy-Clark (all felines) and Heidi, Barnaby, Dirty Ben, Auggie Doggie and Smart Sartre (all canines). Currently Joan counts herself lucky to share her life and home with Nikki, a Belgian Shepherd who survived a near-death experience more than a year ago. Having been nursed back to life with drops of water from a turkey-baster and thereafter minuscule pieces of prime rib, Nikki is now the most spoiled 14-year-old dog on the planet.

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