Here Comes Valentine Cat
Series: Here Comes Cat
Written by Deborah Underwood
Illustrated by Claudia Rueda
Dial Books for Young Readers 12/22/2015
88 pages Ages 3—5
Junior Library Guild Selection
“Cat is no fan of
especially when it
brings a new dog to
“Ouch. I’m sorry, Cat.
You want to teach
Dog a lesson?
Well, don’t be
“On Valentine’s Day, even
a crabby cat can have a
CHANGE OF HEART.”
Cat is back! Just in time for Valentine’s Day. But Cat is a little grumpy. He doesn’t like Valentine’s Day and all the mushy “nonsense” like cards, flowers, poems, and, and . . . chocolate!? The invisible narrator suggests Cat make a non-mushy valentine for a friend. Cat doesn’t have any friends that are not stuffed. Then a sound; a sound like no other.
Cat’s new neighbor is . . . a dog. Cat says he’s a mean dog. As if to prove his point, the narrator calls out,
“Cat! Look out!”
A bone cloncks Cat on the top of his head. Turns out, this is not the first bone Dog has thrown at Cat. Look at the pile! Why is Dog winging bones at Cat? The two have not met; they don’t know each other [Maybe Dog has read Cat’s books, hehe.] Wow, is Dog really mean?
Heads up Cat. Whoops, too, late. A ball dings Cat on his head. Oh, no! The look on Cat’s face and the arch of his brows tells the reader Cat has a plan. Cat decides to send Dog a valentine, homemade of course.
“Roses are Red / Violets are Blue / Who’s the worst neighbor? / I think it’s You!”
The narrator doesn’t like it, so Cat tries another card. The second is actually worse. Cat always has a better idea and he doesn’t fail us now. Cat will make Dog a valentine present. Dog probably likes presents—what dog doesn’t—especially if he can ride it . . . to the moon!
In his fourth outing, Cat will charm you from the first spread on to the last. He is adorable, with the most expressive face yet. Cat’s eyebrow movement is the best. Cat “speaks” by drawing on signs, which are usually as hilarious as his ideas. Sharing the spreads with a dog must bring the best out of this valentine-grumpy cat.
Underwood and Rueda have outdone themselves with Here Comes Valentine Cat. The text flows nicely, giving the ink and color-pencil illustrations time to deliver its funny response. Young children will easily relate to Cat’s dilemma. Cat’s ambitious rocket building is inspirational, and then, after all Cat’s work, we learn the dog has had a perfectly good reason for tossing objects into Cat’s yard. Dog’s on-target-aim is simply icing on the valentine.
Here Comes Valentine Cat adds one more delicious book to the wonderful Here Comes Cat series for young children.
This year, instead of all the mushy “nonsense” like cards, flowers, poems, and—this one’s a toughie—chocolate, give Here Comes Valentine Cat. You’ll give your valentine a smart book they can read all year long. One other bonus: your valentine will never develop a cavity, despite the sweet story. Just an idea, but Here Comes Valentine Cat makes a unique, long-lasting valentine for adults as well. The humor is perfect for a wide audience, thanks to the talented duo of Underwood and Rueda.
Up Next: HERE COMES TEACHER CAT.
HERE COMES VALENTINE CAT. Text copyright © 20156 by Deborah Underwood. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Claudia Rueda. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Dial Books for Young Readers, New York, NY.
Deborah Underwood: http://www.deborahunderwoodbooks.com/
Follow on Twitter
Claudia Rueda: http://www.claudiarueda.com/
Follow on Twitter
Here Comes Cat Series
Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat (05/2015)
Here Comes Santa Cat (10/2014) [reviewed here]
Here Comes the Easter Cat (01/2014)
HERE COMES VALENTINE CAT. Illustrations © 2016 by Claudia Rueda. Used by permission of Dial BYR.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood & Claudia Rueda, and received from Dial Books for Young Readers, (an imprint of Penguin Random House), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”