Cone Cat

by Sarah Howden (Author) Carmen Mok (Illustrator)

Cone Cat
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
One day, Jeremy wakes up at the vet's with a giant cone around his head. In a momentary existential crisis, he resigns himself to his new role as clumsy, smelly Cone Cat. That is, until the cone becomes instrumental in lapping up the last few bites of cereal on the breakfast table. Surprisingly, Cone Cat can do a lot of things old Jeremy couldn't. He can hunt spiders with ease, collect stuffing from the couch, and disguise himself as a bowl to steal a scoop of ice cream at a birthday party. When the cone is removed the next day, Jeremy starts to miss it. Will he ever get another chance to indulge in the tricks he pulled off as Cone Cat? It doesn't take him too long to find out ... With lively illustrations and plenty of wit, this hilarious picture book about adapting to seemingly im-paw-ssible situations is sure to please kids and cat-lovers alike.

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Publishers Weekly

Jeremy the cat has a cone around his neck courtesy of the vet (the cause is not specified), which has turned him into a shadow of his former nimble, sneaky self. "Now he was knocking into doorjambs and backing his way down the stairs with all the grace of a fat squirrel," writes author Howden (5-Minute Amazing Animal Stories), striking a tone of haughty weariness. "He didn't smell so good either." But you can't keep an imperious feline down for long: Jeremy discovers that the cone can actually function as a useful funnel, holding bits of food he manages to scrounge (including ice cream from a birthday party), and, in one of the funniest illustrations, an entire cushion's worth of stuffing. Pared-down vignettes by Mok (Grandmother's Visit) capture both the inner workings of Jeremy's mischievous mind and his comical prowling. While he makes no bones about his feelings for his owners ("Of course, a gathering of little humans can be a nightmare for a cat," the narrator says as the birthday party gets underway), readers will find it hard to resist the prickly charms of this expressive sourpuss. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1—An accident-prone house cat learns to love the cone that has been placed around his head for safety. When Jeremy the cat wakes up one day to discover that he has been fitted with a cone, he is utterly distraught. It blocks his view, bends his whiskers, and really puts a crimp in his super-cat style. After some trial and error, Jeremy discovers a way to use the cone to his advantage, but then it's time for the cone to be removed. Jeremy, a blue-and-white cat of indeterminate age, is drawn with sly, sleepy eyes. He finds ways to bend the cone to his will, first discovering its usefulness as a funnel for milk, then as a spider catching device, and even as an acoustic aid. Jeremy's thoughts are distinguished by the use of bold text, and colorful illustrations featuring Ava, the small human who Jeremy mostly tries to avoid, fill the story with light and levity. Readers will chuckle at the sight of a cat waiting in line to receive his share of birthday cake. VERDICT Purchase where pet stories are popular, although the morals of adapting to change and making the best of a bad situation are sure to resonate with all young readers.—Laken Hottle, Providence Community Lib.

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Readers will find it hard to resist the prickly charms of this expressive sourpuss."—Publishers Weekly
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
August 20, 2020
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV002050 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Cats
JUV002190 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Pets
JUV039090 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | New Experience
Library of Congress categories

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