Critter the Class Cat

Critter the Class CatCritter the Class Cat

Submitter: Here is a book that the children’s librarian kept on his storytime shelf.  He retired, and I retired his storytime shelf!  Copyright date is 1989, so the cat is probably watching from Kitty Heaven now.

Holly: The computer in the picture has hopefully gone to Computer Heaven, too.

Mary:  I can’t believe they got a cat to cooperate for pictures and a story!

Critter the Class Cat


  1. Argh! I forgot to uncheck a stupid box again. My apologies for delay. I am sure some evil cat is responsible for this …

  2. You know, as a child I never could suspend reality for books like these. I kept thinking “Wait, some kids are allergic to cats. They’d NEVER let one in the classroom!”

  3. He watches the children swear as their programs fail to compute…

    …correct genotypes or trajectories of bouncing balls…

    …because he sabotaged them during recess!

    PS. Isn’t there a way to make posts open to comments by default?

  4. I don’t know if this one is really so ‘awful’ myself.

    I love the Dewey books, but I get teary-eyed every time by the end.

  5. I’m surprised that cat isn’t trying to lie down on the keyboard. That picture must’ve ended up in the discard pile.

  6. I like this book! Except for the dated computer. I think children would like it too. It has nice clear, colorful photos and the text is simple and easy to read. As for the cat…they didn’t get the cat to cooperate! They took random photos and put the story line around them! We all know you can’t get a cat to cooperate! These were taken just before the cat grabbed the crayons and sat on the keyboard. The book looks pretty good for being 20 years old.

  7. Is it weird I’m getting a creepy stalker vibe from the text and the way the cat is ominously hovering?

  8. My sister was obsessed with cats as a child, and I actually remember this book. If you’re the kind of person who will read anything with cats, you probably wouldn’t mind the dated computer photos.

  9. My cat watches me in exactly the same way. He is sending telepathic thought waves saying either, “Feed me,” or, “Let me outside,” depending on whether or not he’s been fed within the last five minutes.

  10. I agree with most of the books weeded so far but I see nothing wrong with this title. Sure it was published in 1989, but judging by the tone of the text, I don’t think the audience it is targeting would actually mind that much. And why retire the storytime shelf? Don’t librarians want to interact with children anymore?

  11. @Reader:

    I think they meant that that the entire shelf was filled with books that were weed-worthy. I’m hoping they were replaced by newer books.

  12. Critter bears some resemblance to a cat I had growing up. She was quite the little dictator. She liked to smack people with her paws, had a very demanding meow, and enlisted me as a chauffeur as soon as I could walk (in her opinion, the only thing I was good for was pushing her around in my toy wagon).

    If Critter had a similar temperament, I’m sure he did a fine job of keeping order in the school.

  13. As some people have said, this one’s not too bad. Mel M: I was reminded of the Dewey-books too, I read his story last summer and thoroughly enjoyed it, very touching.
    The pictures are dated, that’s true, but cats still look at you the same way when you’re working on a computer: with that expression saying “that THING can’t POSSIBLY be more interesting than me. I’m here! Look at me!”

    I suggest parents reading this to their children could open with “Once upon a time there was a school cat….” ….sorted!

  14. You don’t get a cat to cooperate. You work the other way round: follow a cat, take lots of pictures, and then write the story in function of the pictures you have.

  15. I had a cat once that would sit on top of my typewriter and swat the keys as they moved. (Yes, I’m that old.) She also insisted on lying on any piece of paper I wanted to write on.

  16. I’m sure you can get a cat to cooperate. You just need one of those people whom specialize in training animals for movies and tv shows.

  17. Yeah, I could see keeping this book if you are not crunched for space in the children’s department, or getting rid of it if you are–there’s nothing really wrong with it, but nothing really right about it, either (except that it’s about cats and lots of people like cats). But it’s definitely not a story-time book. Story time should highlight really wonderful books with beautiful artwork, engaging stories, and rich language. You want the impression the kids get to be “Books are awesome!” not “Meh.”

  18. My cats don’t just watch me on the computer–they step on the button that disconnects the power. We had to put cardboard over it to stop them. I agree wth the previous poster–not a super choice for story time, but still fun for kids that like cats.

  19. This book was weeded because it is dated. Surely there are other cat books out there that can be used in storytime. @Reader: Lurker is right. The recently retired librarian’s personal storytime shelf was full of books that were horribly stained and/or ripped and then a handful of out of date ones. We literally have hundreds of intact and up-to-date picture books on our shelves that can be used by our new, wonderful, enthusiastic children’s librarian.