Simon introduces himself as a cat right on page one, a seemingly obvious identification. Yet surprising and highly amusing page turns reveal an extremely dubious audience: a variety of bewildered, much bigger members of the cat world, who break into hysterics at the suggestion that this eager gray tabby could possibly be part of their family. No way—he doesn't have a lion's mane and can't run like a cheetah, jump like a puma, or sleep in a tree like a panther; and he certainly isn't "very, very orange" like a tiger. Simon, however, displays to the cats how they, too, share such differences, before explaining how the whole lot of them share a ton of things in common. He itemizes them (thereby teaching these traits to readers). Simon helps everyone realize that, though he's smaller than the rest, he's a cat all the same. This straightforward concept is entertainingly executed in accessible, humorous sentences, while the digital and hand-painted animals prowl, prance, and play in a variety of perspectives that perfectly prove Simon's point. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
A stout, green-eyed cat named Simon meets a gang of much larger cats: a lion, cheetah, puma, panther, and tiger. "I am a cat," announces Simon. "Just like you!" The big cats greet Simon's announcement with wide-eyed, stony silence. Then—after a page turn—they erupt in guffaws. The lion explains huffily that cats have manes and tails, the cheetah that cats run faster, and so on; each identifies its own features as the essence of catness. Simon's reply is sharp: "So how can you all be cats?" The lion begins listing features they have in common ("We have sharp teeth and claws") and the big cats' tails and claws form graceful arabesques. "So do I," Simon snaps. "I have all of those things." The big cats are forced to admit that Simon is right; he is a cat after all. Bernstein's debut is a fresh, powerful twist on the tension between in-groups and out-groups. The big cats threaten, but her hero shows no signs of compromise or apology. And her spare, clean artwork shares the same sense of certainty. Ages 3–7. Agent: Anne Moore Armstrong, Bright Group. (Feb.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
PreS-Gr 2—A small, plump gray cat, mouth downturned and green eyes cast upward at a row of tall animal legs lined up behind him, is a fine indication of things to come in this humorous introduction to the larger cat family. Simply sketched against blank white pages, each of five large cats stare in disbelief as the small one introduces himself: "Hello, my name is Simon. I am a cat. Just like you!" After a silly moment of group laughter, Lion, Cheetah, Puma, Panther, and Tiger each share a personal exchange with Simon, repudiating his claim. "A cat? Cats are black,' said Panther. 'They live in jungles and rain forests and sleep in trees. Have you ever seen a jungle?'?" Simon has no mane like Lion's, is not tall and graceful like Cheetah, can't leap far and act tough like Puma, and isn't big and orange like Tiger. Having heard all their rebuttals, Simon expresses confusion. Each animal has touted traits not shared by the others. "So how can you all be cats?" Ah, but they all have things in common, too—"small, perky ears and flat noses…long whiskers and long tails…sharp teeth and claws…and big eyes that can see in the dark." And so Simon wins the argument. "So do I…I have all of those things…only smaller." Once he's accepted as part of the family, he joins them in "pouncing and playing, like cats of all sizes do." The bold humorous figures are digitally drawn and hand colored. VERDICT Bernstein's debut is fun, well crafted, and promising. The simple text and strong pictures offer an amusing read-aloud for small groups or individual children.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.
Simon the housecat points out that he may not roar like a lion or run fast like a cheetah, but he has many other things in common with the big cats.Review by Publisher Summary 2
Encountering a sequence of bigger cats, including a lion, panther and cheetah, Simon the housecat disagrees with their assessment that he does not measure up and endeavors to prove that he is just as much of a cat as they are, only smaller. A first picture book. Simultaneous eBook.Review by Publisher Summary 3
A simple housecat named Simon encounters some bigger cats: Lion, Puma, Panther, Tiger, and Cheetah. Each of the big cats has something to say about Simon not being “cat” enough. According to them, he just doesn’t measure up. He doesn’t have Lion’s mane or Cheetah’s spots. He doesn’t sleep in trees like Panther or climb mountains like Puma. He’s small and fuzzy, not big and strong. But ultimately, Simon shows the big cats that he’s just like them . . . only smaller. A celebration of both individuality and community, I Am a Cat is a strong debut that shows we’re all more alike than we think . . . if we look closely enough.Review by Publisher Summary 4
A simple housecat named Simon encounters some bigger cats: Lion, Puma, Panther, Tiger, and Cheetah. Each of the big cats has something to say about Simon not being 'cat' enough. According to them, he just doesn't measure up. He doesn't have Lion's mane or Cheetah's spots. He doesn't sleep in trees like Panther or climb mountains like Puma. He's small and fuzzy, not big and strong. But ultimately, Simon shows the big cats that he's just like them . . . only smaller. A celebration of both individuality and community, I Am a Cat is a strong debut that shows we're all more alike than we think . . . if we look closely enough.