ISBN 978-0-399-53905-3 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys R 5-7 yrs
Cat is back, and he’s not pleased to learn that he must forgo his nap to act as substitute teacher at Kitty School. After attempting to pawn the task off on Dog, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy—nods to prior titles Here Comes Valentine Cat (BCCB 2/16), Here Comes Santa Cat (BCCB 12/14), Here Comes the Easter Cat (BCCB 1/14), and Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat (BCCB 9/15)—Cat reluctantly accepts his assignment. Fortunately, with a little encouragement, Cat quickly finds his rhythm in the classroom and takes the familiar activities of music, building blocks, and art to the next level by rocking out with a full kitty band, building a fountain that spouts fish, and making an enormous mess painting the classroom. Rueda’s warm-toned ink and color pencil illustrations delightfully capture Cat’s reluctance and sarcasm as he communicates nonverbally through illustrated signs and animated facial expressions. A mix of full-page spreads that hilariously exhibit Cat’s mischief and illustrations that humorously mirror Underwood’s subtle text bring Cat’s day at Kitty School to life. The narrator’s playful and, at times, almost parental tone (after Cat begins painting red paw prints on the classroom walls the narrator asks “Cat, do you think that’s a good idea?”) will have audiences cheering for Cat to make the right decisions as they infer what he will do next based on his dramatic behaviors and clever signs. Longtime fans of Cat will welcome this latest installment in the collection and those new to Cat will come to love him as much as the kitties do by the end of their school day together.