Being of the feline persuasion, Maxine and Leon couldn’t wait to read Negative Cat (Penguin 2021) by Sophie Blackall. And I can’t blame them – one look at the cover, and I had to order my signed copy from Books of Wonder!
The boy in this picture book really, I mean really, wants a cat. Did I mention that this boy really wants a cat? Finally, on Day 427 of asking his parents for a cat, they say yes! At the rescue shelter, the boy immediately recognizes his cat – the one in the cage labeled “Pookie.” And thank goodness, the boy changes the cat’s name to Maximilian Augustus Xavier and calls him “Max” (a favorite nickname around here!).
Max doesn’t seem to like anything, is definitely not friendly, and prefers to stare at the wall. Like the boy’s sister says: “He’s kind of negative, your cat.” As each family member gives up on Max, the boy knows he must do something colossal – even if it means facing his biggest fear! Otherwise, he might just lose the cat he loves. You’ll have to read the book to find out what the boy must do to save Max, but rest assured, it’s spectacular!
Max and Leon are big fans of adopting rescue cats and recommend that you visit a local shelter to find your furever friend. In Nashville, we have The Catio, a cat lounge where you pay a small fee to spend time in a room full of adorable rescue kitties from the Nashville Cat Rescue. It’s a really fun way to find just the right cat(s) (or a good excuse to enjoy some quality cat time). You might even want to bring a book (or two) to see if any of your new furry friends enjoy hearing you read aloud.
Sophie Blackall has illustrated many wonderful picture books, including one of my favorites, Finding Winnie (Little, Brown) (2016 Caldecott Medal Winner) and the delightful chapter book series, Ivy & Bean (Chronicle Books). In addition, Sophie Blackall illustrated Kate DiCamillo’s latest middle grade book, The Beatryce Prophecy (Penguin 2021), which was released this week. You can watch a lovely video of the two talking about the book as part of the 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival. I ordered my copy of The Beatryce Prophecy (signed by Kate DiCamillo) from The Red Balloon Bookshop.