Cats belong in books don’t they?
All those secret, nocturnal adventures – that every cat loving kid so wishes they could follow – are just begging to be written down.
And yes of course, cats are manipulative, selfish, controlling, irritable and downright lazy!
But you’ve got to hand it to them … cats ooze mystery.
And they so do make believe!
Our family cat – much missed – was the tiniest thing but sneeking through the back garden after a bird, she had all the grandeur of a tiger in the jungle stalking its prey!
So if you’re a cat family, and your kids adore cats, this is the book list for you!
(I earn commission on purchases made via links in this post. Please see my disclosure policy.)
I am sure you already know Mog the Forgetful Cat (USA), Meg and Mog (USA) and The Cat In The Hat (USA) but there are loads more brilliant cat books for kids of all ages from littlies to tweens …
1. Slinky Malinky & Scarface Claw
Lynley Dodd’s Slinky Malinky (USA) and Scarface Claw (USA) are anything but sweet little kitties.
But they were very early faves of ours.
Dodd’s fantastic rhyming, humour and vivid pictures make them accessible to the smallest of children. And as a grown up they are such fun to read.
Kids hear your enjoyment as you read them. Which will always make them a winner.
2. Pete the Cat
Eric Litwin’s Pete the Cat (USA) series are real put a smile on your face books.
Very simple, they’re perfect for 2 to 3 year olds.
And always come with a song. What’s not to like?
3. Tom Kitten
Beatrix Potter’s Tom Kitten (USA) needs no introduction.
But it was one of our fave early Beatrix Potter reads.
Largely because of the mischieviousness of Tom and his sisters (and the Puddleducks!). But also because it’s so lightly written.
Some Beatrix Potter’s are quite dense for little listeners, but Tom Kitten really skips along.
4. Ginger Cat
A new kitten in the house spells trouble for Ginger in Charlotte Voake’s Ginger Cat (USA).
Ginger’s struggle to cope with the attention stealing kitten, makes a lovely story. And is a great way for kids to explore their feelings about newly arrived siblings!
5. Tabby McTat
If you are a Julia Donaldson fan, you’ll love Tabby McTat (USA).
In her usual brilliant rhyme, Donaldson tells of Tabby McTatt’s search for his busker friend from whom he has been sadly separated.
Of course everything finally, ends well. If not quite as we might have expected …
6. Six Dinner Sid
We had a neighbourhood cat just like Inga Moore’s Six Dinner Sid (USA)!
Sid inveigles his way into six families’ lives and showers them with such affection, they can’t help but believe that he’s theirs. And serve him up suitably yummy dinners.
Until one day, Sid is found out …
Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat (USA) by Ursual Williams is a real gem.
And a brilliant first chapter book for both listening to and reading independently.
Poor Gobbolino doesn’t want to be a witch’s cat, and each chapter is a heart breaking installment in his quest for “a fire and a mat” with an ordinary family.
He does finally find a home but not before some amazing adventures.
8. Diary of a Killer Cat
The Diary of a Killer Cat (USA) by Anne Fine is another good early reader.
The first in a series following – in his very own words – the mischievous antics of Tuffy and the hapless attempts of his family to tame his feline ways!
Not a chance!
9. Varjak Paw
S.F. Said’s Smartie Award Winner Varjak Paw (USA) is a beautifully evocative celebration of that mysterious secret world of cats, to which us lesser beings are not usually admitted.
But it’s also an exploration of bravery, and the journey we all have go through to have the courage to believe in ourselves and what we could be. Good for 8-9 and ups.
10. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
T.S.Elliot captures the spirit of so many cats in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (USA).
Macaverty, Skimbleshanks and the rest, really do become old friends.
And the poems are a fab way to introduce kids to learning and reciting poetry by heart.
With Ursula Le Guin as the author, the kittens in Catwings (USA) could never be ordinary!
And they’re not. These kittens have wings!
Which open up even more mystery and adventure than your average cat could dream of!
A bit hard to judge age suitability, but probably 6-7 to 10ish.
12. The Cat Who Went To Heaven
The Cat Who Went to Heaven (USA) by Elizabeth Coatsworth is a Newberry winner from 1931.
Still much cherished today, it’s a lovely story of the lengths to which a struggling artist in Japan, will go for a cat he did not at first want!
13. Millions of Cats
Wanda Gag’s Millions of Cat (USA) is another Newberry winner this time from 1929.
Loads of people love it. So I’ve included it here.
But advanced warning it’s weird! AND gruesome.
It starts well but the millions of cats end up eating other. Not so good! Check it out first, and take your own call, before your read it to your kids. You were warned!
14. Into the Wild – Warrior Cat
Erin Hunter’s Into the Wild (USA) can also be a bit gruesome.
But the series is for older kids – 9 and up? – and these cats are serious warrior cats!
Although, these fantasy adventure books are for older kids, they’re pretty easy to read and there are loads of them. So they are a great way to keep kids reading.
15. It’s Like This, Cat
Newberry Award winner It’s Like This, Cat (USA) by Emily Neville is not one we’ve read, but is a coming of age book set in New York in the 60s, and looks good for cat loving Tweenies or early Teens.
15. Mrs Cockle’s Cat
And our final cat book for kids is the lovely but rather forgotten Mrs Cockle’s Cat (USA).
By Philippa Pearce the brilliant author of Tom’s Midnight Garden, it was the Carnegie Greenaway winner in 1961, and a heart warming story of the pure love cats inspire.
So there we go … some brilliant books about cats for kids of all ages?
What about you? What are your faves? Do share …
And for more great kids books do check out my other book lists.
[…] We can start by looking at Pinterest for books about cats (here’s just a few). […]
[…] is a similar super cute Christmas gift wrap idea for cat loving kids […]