The Amazing Crafty Cat (Crafty Cat #1)

by Charise Mericle Harper (Author)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Crafty Cat
Includes instructions for six do-it-yourself projects.
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This outside-the-box volume is a great example of the breadth of possibilities in sequential-art narrative.

School Library Journal

Gr 1-4--How does one navigate the terrain of school, with its tricky fraction worksheets and class bullies? For Birdie, the answer is through crafts. With the help of her imaginary alter ego, the Amazing Crafty Cat, Birdie is able to prepare for the perfect birthday. She has made enough panda cupcakes for everyone in class (even Anya, the class bully), she has a beautiful dress, and the weather is lovely. Everything is perfect--until disaster strikes. On the walk to school, Birdie trips and all the cupcakes fall to the ground, and after she calls home for help, her grandfather shows up with olives and cottage cheese instead of dessert. Luckily, Birdie "transforms" (no one else is aware of her pretend metamorphosis) into an anthropomorphic feline to save the day using crafts. Harper effectively captures the highs and lows of grade school. Reminiscent of a child's doodles, the digitally rendered illustrations are artful while engagingly playful; they move the narrative forward and add some visual humor to the already funny text. The book also includes six easy DIY projects that will appeal to would-be Crafty Cats. VERDICT A charming addition to early reader graphic novel collections and a solid option for young crafters and fans of the author.--John Trischitti, Midland County Public Libraries, TX

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

In an entry-level graphic novel, Harper (the Just Grace series) dives into the mind of Birdie, a quirky worrier who loves to imagine herself as a resourceful feline alter ego, "Crafty Cat." Birdie wants a perfect birthday, but she drops her box of panda cupcakes on the way to school. The story zigzags in and out of reality, with Birdie envisioning how future events might unfold. Harper's line art helps distinguish what's happening inside Birdie's mind versus what's actually happening, yet the story is simultaneously tricky to track and absent much of a plot. For those who share Birdie's enthusiasm for crafting, instructions for several projects are included. Ages 6-10. Agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. (Apr.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

..". a genuinely sweet book about a second-grader finding an imaginative way to face this confusing world." —LA Times

"The clear, simple layouts make this an accessible choice for the graphic-novel newbies, and plenty of clever details and playful visuals will appeal equally to more experienced readers." —BCCB

Charise Mericle Harper

Charise Mericle Harper is the award-winning author and illustrator of numerous children's books and series, including the Just Grace series, the Fashion Kitty series, and the Next Best Junior Chef series. Harper's signature wit, kid-friendly illustrations, and wholly original style have made her a familiar name with caregivers, educators, and librarians looking for books that encourage imagination and showcase art education. Charise lives with her family and furry pets in Portland, Oregon.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
First Second
Publication date
April 11, 2017
Crafty Cat
BISAC categories
JUV008000 - Juvenile Fiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | General
JUV045000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Chapter Books
JUV020000 - Juvenile Fiction | Interactive Adventures
Library of Congress categories
Cartoons and comics
Comics (Graphic works)

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