A Bunch of Cats
by Judy Barnhart
Trafford Publishing

"Jump for joy!! I just found my favorite ball! It's better than jelly beans, or little, jumping bags."

The role of children's books in advocating the love and welfare of animals cannot be discounted. From the Berenstain Bears to The Cat in the Hat, animal mania is central to children's literature. A Bunch of Cats is one of these books that encourage children to be empathic and caring to animals.

The book highlights rhyming lines about Barnhart's pet cats in an alphabetical manner. Each poem corresponds to a letter in the alphabet, a photo and keywords making it appealing to and understandable for kids and their adult readers alike. This is a proof that an illustration is necessary in telling and selling tales to children and their caretakers. With emotive lines, the book has successfully illustrated the beauty and joy of having pets, cats in particular.

The book begins with the letter A showing five photos of the author's pets, namely Miss Velvet, Twinkle Toes, Mr. C, Shasta, and Charley Max. She then described them in the text as affectionate, amazing, amusing, animated, awesome, and yes, annoying too. The first part is perhaps the most fascinating part of the book as it is the only page, which showcases the photos and descriptions of all of the author's four-legged friends.

Barnhart has the ability to communicate deep thoughts in a very simple way creating positive attitudes about animals. Her approach is neither self-conscious nor self-critical and yet she conveys her deep and rich engagement with her pets. She is coherent and reflective as she structures her material in a little over ten pages.

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