Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Atticus Caticus… what a fun story-cus!

Atticus Caticus, by Sarah Maizes/Illustrated by Kara Kramer, (April 2021, Candlewick Press), $16.99, ISBN: 9781536208405

Ages 3-7

A fun story that encourages readers to play with language, Atticus Caticus is the story of a young boy following his cat’s antics throughout the day, making up a fun rhyme as Atticus eats, naps, and gets up to all sorts of shenanigans, like scratching up mom’s chair and lying in wait to playfully attack our narrator’s toes. The repetitive “Atticus Caticus” phrase pairs with other fun rhymes, allowing readers to chime in and pantomime catlike movements like stretching, kneading, and scratching. Digital artwork is bright and cheery, with an expressive cartoon character cat and bold, black fonts that make for easy reading. There’s movement throughout the story as Atticus dashes from bed to food bowl, chairs to bathroom, to snuggling next to the boy at night, ready for another day of mischief tomorrow. A perfect read-aloud.

Atticus Caticus has a starred review from Kirkus.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Interactive fun with When I Say OOH, You Say AAH!

I Say OOH, You Say AAH!, by John Kane, (March 2018, Kane Miller), $12.99, ISBN: 978-1-61067-7110

Recommended for readers 3-7

I am having way too much fun with this laugh-out-loud picture book! I Say OOH, You Say AAH plays with words and ideas in the most fun ways; you’re the narrator, speaking to your audience, and leading them through seemingly simple requests. The pictures, however, make your audience say otherwise! If you see an ant, you must say underpants. Which will, of course, happen at the most inopportune moments, like when a shy donkey named OOH (yup, now you’ve scared him) shows up with an ant on his nose.

The book is bold and bright, and is made for read-alouds where you want to be as silly as possible (and isn’t that what read-alouds should be?)! The digital artwork is colorful and fun, and the fonts are bold, often in caps, and easy to read. It’s great for sharpening verbal cues and teaching reading comprehension in the best way: the fun way! As Kirkus says, it’s an “invitation to silliness” complete with instructions. I have a well-known love for underpants-related picture books and storytimes, and this one is solidly in the collection.

I read this with my 5-year-old, and we needed frequent giggle breaks. And then… I read it to my colleagues as part of a Guerilla Storytime at the recent Urban Librarians Unite conference! (It’s so gratifying, reading a book like this to a group of librarians who are totally on board with your wackiness, by the way.) The librarians were thrilled – a few approached me and asked where they could buy the book. Success!


I Say OOH, You Say AAH is perfect storytime and funtime reading. Put it in libraries, classrooms, and homes where kids love sillytime!