Cat problems

Jory John

Book - 2021

"A pampered house cat complains about the daily struggles he faces"--

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Children's Room jE/John Checked In
Animal problems
Humorous stories
Humorous fiction
Animal fiction
Picture books
New York : Random House Children's Books [2021]
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Ages 3-7.
Grades K-1.
Main Author
Jory John (author)
Other Authors
Lane Smith (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* The Animal Problems series (Penguin Problems, 2016; Giraffe Problems, 2018) continues here with cats. Everyone knows that cats believe they are in charge of the household, if not the world, and this unnamed cat is no different. Sleeping, eating, and cleaning itself are its primary occupations, but daily time also must be spent bossing around the other pet cat, escaping the vacuum monster, and surveying every room in the house. After scratching some furniture, playing with a ball of aluminum foil, and sitting in a box, the cat feels vaguely bored. If only it could go outside! The cat's hilariously incessant monologue is interrupted by the arrival of a squirrel peering through the window. The squirrel floods a two-page spread with a lecture on how lucky the cat is, explaining how much harder life is outdoors and admonishing the cat to stop complaining. Meanwhile, the cat wonders how it could possibly eat the squirrel. Smith's signature style captures the cat's every emotion through its expressive eyes and tail and posture. A final touch of humor comes from the author and illustrator bios, written by William and Lulu, cats who live with John and Smith. Great fun, even—or especially?—if you don't have a cat. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The star of the third entry in the collaborators' Animal Problems series is a sarcastic, malcontent cat narrator who is unrepentant right out of the gate. "Great," John's protagonist begins after a sunbeam moves off its body: "Now I'm awake, and I only got nineteen hours of sleep." As Smith, in muted colors, mottled textures, and strong vertical lines, presents an unadorned background fit for feline ennui, the cat offers a veritable catalog of disgruntled, imperious, and impulsive feelings, some leveled at a smaller, miserably bullied cat who shares the house ("You're in my spot"), some at household items such as a vacuum cleaner ("You do not want to mess with these claws," the kitty threatens, ineffectively taking refuge behind a lamp), and some at no one at all ("Maybe I'll meow for a while"). It's the opposite of good behavior but is so deliciously sour that when a self-righteous squirrel lectures the cat on the notion of gratitude, readers are tempted to side with the cat. Indeed, the animal's spewing seems so authentically feline that readers can't help but laugh—and perhaps even identify with an id unabashedly unleashed. Ages 3–7. (Aug.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 2—A look at the ennui experienced by a sardonic housecat. First there were Penguin Problems, then Giraffe Problems, and now the domestic cat is getting its chance. This plot-free stream of kitty consciousness follows the trials and tribulations of a well-tended house cat as it tries to fill its day #catproblems. A sampling of the problems the cat encounters include a disappearing sunbeam, a nearly empty food bowl, the other cat innocently sleeping in all the "best" places ("I think that cat might be my greatest enemy in the entire house."), the monster/vacuum cleaner, boredom, lack of ability to let themselves out, and a sassy squirrel on the other side of the window. (Post-Covid -19 lockdown some of these problems may hit a little close to the home.) Each problem elicits a sardonic, first-person response often directed at readers. After being schooled by a squirrel as to how good they have it being cared for inside, the cat responds with, "How can I eat this very talkative squirrel?" Smith's texture-filled illustrations are as expected in the best possible way. His combination of panels, and single- and double-page spreads put the cat with all the expression-filled, big-eyed attitude front and center. Ranging in size, location, and font, the text works perfectly with the illustrations. VERDICT As story flows from one problem to the next, readers will want to let cat out for just a little bit—or maybe revisit the first two books for more problems.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Lib., Troy, NH Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

While dealing with a noisy vacuum, a moving sun spot and a nosy squirrel, cat wonders if he can find something good in all of this! Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

What could a pampered house cat possibly have to complain about? This latest collaboration from picture book superstars--and cat devotees--Lane Smith and Jory John brings with it a hilarious set of feline problems!

Just like most cats, this cat lives an extremely comfortable life. But he has his problems too!

The sun spot he's trying to bathe in won't stop moving. He keeps getting served dry food instead of wet. And don't even get him started on the vacuum--it's an absolute menace!--and the nosy neighbor squirrel that just can't seem to mind its own business. Will this cat ever find the silver lining?

Jory John and Lane Smith once again air their grievances in this must-have companion book to Penguin Problems and Giraffe Problems.