Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Happy National Hug Your Cat Day! Celebrate with Max Attacks and a Giveaway!

Max Attacks, by Kathi Appelt/Illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan, (June 2019, Atheneum), $17.99, ISBN: 9781481451468

Ages 3-8

Max is a cat. A cat who attacks. No, he’s not a mean cat, he’s just a cat cat. If you’re a cat person, you know that look: the ears go flat, the backside wiggles, and the cat is off, attacking its prey, usually a random piece of plastic, small plush toy, or – in my case – a rogue Lego. In Max Attacks, Max is an adorable blue striped cat who attempts to trounce and pounce on the fishbowl, but is sidetracked by foes like window screens, catnip toys, laundry, and a shoelace (still attached to the person’s shoe). But when Max finally turns his undivided attention to the fishbowl, is he in for a wet surprise?

Max Attacks is absolutely adorable. The rhyming text gives a playful feel to the story and makes for a fun, boisterous readaloud. I read this to my Saturday storytime group and they loved it! Penelope Dullaghan’s acrylic, charcoal, and digital illustrations are bright and add a hand-drawn touch to each spread. She’s got the cat’s reactions down perfectly, from the loping run to the I-meant-to-do-that reaction when a leap goes horribly awry. The white background lets the brightly-colored characters take charge of the story, and the bold, black text has different colored words for emphasis, letting a reader change voice to create asides or pitch.

This is an adorable must-read for your storytimes and for your cat fans. Max Attacks is out on June 11th, but feel free to hug your cat and read to them today.


Want a shot at your own copy of Max Attacks? (U.S. addresses only, please!) One lucky reader will receive a copy of Max Attacks, courtesy of Atheneum; just visit this Rafflecopter giveaway!

Kathi Appelt is the New York Times best-selling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. Her first novel, The Underneath, was a National Book Award Finalist and a Newbery Honor Book. It also received the PEN USA Award. Her other novels include Angel Thieves, for young adults, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, a National Book Award finalist, and Maybe a Fox, one of the Bank Street Books Best Children’s Books of the Year. In addition to writing, Ms. Appelt is on the faculty in the Masters of Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in College Station, Texas. To learn more, and to find curriculum materials and activity pages, visit her website at!



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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