Cat the Cat Who is That? by Mo Willems
*Picture book for preschoolers through first graders
*Cat as main character
*Rating: I am a big Mo Willems fan. I prefer the pigeon series to this cat series. However, I see how young readers, even as young as my daughter, would enjoy Cat the Cat, Who is That? for the simple text and bright illustrations.
Short, short summary: Cat the Cat is asked who different animals are in the book, such as Duck the Duck and Fish the Fish. She introduces each animal. Then an alien appears, and Cat the Cat is asked, “Who is that?” She answers, “I have no idea.” Finally, she discovers it is a new friend.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Divide your students into two groups. One group reads the “narrator” part, such as, “Cat the Cat, who is that?” And the other group reads Cat the Cat’s answer. You can read what each animal says, or you can pick individual students to do this. Switch parts and have fun with oral reading!
2. Talk to students about friends. Remind them of the saying, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” How does this saying go with Mo Willems’s book? What do they think about this? Can they draw a picture and write a sentence about old and new friends?
3. Work on simple noun/verb sentences (or talk about noun/verbs) with this book. Ask students to tell you a series of sentences based on what the characters are doing in the book. You write them on chart paper. Write the nouns in blue and the verbs in red. You might have sentences such as: Mouse bounces. Alien builds. Cat jumps. (and so on)