How to Teach Your Cat Tricks (In Five Easy Steps) by Nicola Winstanley

How to Teach Your Cat Tricks (In Five Easy Steps) by Nicola Winstanley
Publisher: Tundra Books
Genre: Humor, Childrens (Ages 3-7 years), Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

In this hilarious and clever follow-up to How to Give Your Cat a Bath, a boy, a dog and a know-it-all narrator are thwarted by a cat who refuses to learn a trick. The perfect read-aloud for fans of Interrupting Chicken.

Step one: Decide on a trick
Step two: Get some treats ready
Step three: Hold the treat in your hand and ask your cat to do the trick
Step four: Watch your cat do exactly what you asked him to do
Step five: Reward your cat for doing the trick

Simple, right?

This spoof on an instruction manual features an increasingly bewildered human, a nonchalant cat, a very good dog and a know-it-all narrator . . . who really doesn’t know it all. How DO you teach a cat a trick? Read on to find out!

Trying to teach a cat to do much of anything is well…like herding cats.

I picked up this book because it looked cute, and it was. The little boy is trying to teach his cat to do tricks. Anyone who has cats know they can’t be taught (not much). Cats will do what they will. Then again, children will do what they will and if they think they can train their cat, then this is a funny way to show that not everything will work out the way you want and you have to make the best of what does happen.

This book is written in a cute manner and the story moved right along. I do have to say that I felt sorry for the dog because Einstein (the cat) was being a cat–he caused trouble, chased birds and didn’t take to any of the training. But the dog did. Noodles (the dog) is in the background cleaning up after the mess and following the little boy’s directions. What stood out was that sometimes the one you want to teach isn’t listening, but there are those you can. Kids may not get that, and kids might not be offended by the dog doing the grunt work in the background while the cat did nothing.

Still, it’s a funny story with animals being what they are, and kids should enjoy it. I know I did.

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