The Big Meow
Written by Elizabeth Spires & Illustrated by Cynthia Jabar
When Little Cat opens his mouth, what comes out is one big CAT-astrophe. His earth-shattering meow disturbs catnaps, scares off catbirds in the catalpa tree, and even swallows the sun. Who would want to play with someone so little -- and so loud?
Elizabeth Spires and Cynthia Jabar tell a funny fable about a lovable underdog -- a Little Cat who learns not to be afraid of using his BIG, brave voice.
Age Range: 3 - 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 2
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Candlewick; 1 edition
School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Youngsters who have ever been ostracized from a group will empathize with Little Cat, who is taunted by the neighborhood felines because his meow is too loud. "Your meow makes the sidewalk shake. It gives us a headache.-Little Cat, go away! Scat!" When a ferocious bulldog threatens to eat them for lunch, however, it's Little Cat who saves them. Conquering his fear, he finally manages a meow that "catapult[s] Bruno over the horizon, clear into the next town," and assures his place among his peers. Jabar's acrylic cartoon illustrations are large and brightly colored. Little Cat's face is brimming with eagerness to please and to be accepted, while his peers show their disgust in expression and body language. The brief text, some of which rhymes, is appropriately repetitive and conveys both the cats' derision ("Your meow is one big CAT-astrophe!") and the small protagonist's parents' pride in their son ("I wouldn't trade your meow for a year of catfish dinners"). Although the story has an obvious intent, as evidenced by the dictum on the back cover: "Listen to your tiny voice Be Brave," the young hero's triumph will likely resonate with young readers.
Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT
A Nice Review from an ECCE student teacher on Amazon ; )
I am an ECCE student who has just finished her practicum at a daycare center, and I'm telling you, that this has been a favorite book of mine since it came out. I read this book for one of my circle times and the children were quiet with anticipation wondering what was going to happen next and were very pleased when Little Meow saved the day. I think the book has a good lesson to be learned from it. As someone who has ostracized myself, I feel this is a good book for children to learn to stand up for themselves and not be ashamed of what they are or what they have that is different.