Three Stories about Jonathan, the Computer, and Little Kitty:
Three Short Stories about a Boy and His Magic Cat
by Ernest Borchini Illustrated by Joseph Ingking Trafford Publishing

"At first Jonathan was a little scared to say that he was talking to Little Kitty. But because he felt such a huge sense of accomplishment... he instead proudly sat up straight in his chair and said, 'I can do this!'"

Third grade students will certainly relate to Jonathan, who is often bored at school and dreams of wishing his entire math class away so that he can spend his time playing video games and watching cartoons. Instead, his teachers demand his attention as they lead his class through important math and history lessons. Once his class heads to the computer lab, however, the teachers have Jonathan's full attention and the enthusiasm of his classmates. It is in the computer lab that Jonathan learns not only about math and famous Americans; he also learns how to use word processing software and spell-check. Jonathan's newfound knowledge is later put to good use as he helps his grandfather compose his first e-mail. By working together, Jonathan is able to connect to his often grouchy grandfather. Likewise, Jonathan's grandfather begins to develop his own computer literacy with the aid of his grandson and Little Kitty.

Borchini's narrative reflects a crucial component in today's educational approaches: the incorporation of technology in the classroom. Today's children are immersed in various forms of technology. During recess, Jonathan and his friends, Darius and Sheila, discuss how soon they'll each be receiving cell phones—third grade concerns that are true to life. Technology in its various forms is indeed a persistent influence on children of all ages, and Jonathan's experiences in the playground and the computer lab mirror this cultural shift. Still, the narrative at times places too narrow of a focus on classroom technology, lapsing into extended sections of dialogue that read as software tutorials. Despite this, Jonathan's struggles at school and his successes with the help of Little Kitty are as informative as they are entertaining.

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