Cats' Night Out

by Caroline Stutson (Author) Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Cats are out for a night on the town in this lively picture book about counting, dance, and music from Carline Stutson and Caldecott medalist Jon Klassen.

From two cats waltzing to twenty cats in a conga line, dancing felines take to the streets, the fire escapes, and the rooftops in this charming concept picture book that is part counting and part introduction to music, dance, and rhythm. The short rhyming text makes it a perfect read-aloud treat, and with vivid illustrations from a breakout DreamWorks animator, readers and listeners alike will be thrilled to see what happens one night on Easy Street when a pair of cats start to groove to the beat.
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Kirkus Review - Children

Playful and silly, the text takes readers from two to 20 cats; quibble aside, a comely counting book.

School Library Journal

Gr 24This elegant book opens: "From the alley, music drifts./Shadows sway to a trumpet riff]." Klassen's eye-catching digitally rendered urban streetscapes resemble the sets of classic musical theater. Cats appear two by two; their costumes change with each dance. The first pair sambas in white; four cats boogie in poodle skirts and saddle shoes; six tango in red capes; and so on until 20 cats conga in splashy florals, plaids, and stripes. Ultimately, the sleepy neighbors appear and shout them down, with a "Cut it out!" The finely detailed illustrations feature a subdued palette of brown, gray, and charcoal enlivened by splashes of color. The subtle charms of this lighter-than-air confection should delight young connoisseurs of dance and style."Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA" Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

What better way to illustrate the concept of counting by twos than with pairs of dancing cats? Newcomer Klassens subdued twilit cityscapes form an unexpectedly noir backdrop for the sprightly kitties, whose costumes depend on the dance (Four cats boogie, rock to blues, / in poodle skirts and saddle shoes). Rows of darkened windows and brick walls are punctuated by fire escapes and hanging laundry, lit with a misty blend of starlight and streetlamps. The dependable rhythms of Stutsons ("Mama Loves You") verse are reflected in the faces of the dancers. With closed eyes and intent expressions, these hepcats take their work seriously, as they samba on rooftops, line dance on traffic lights, and polka in a city fountain. It continues until they are interrupted by shouts from cranky city dwellers: '"Cut it out!" the neighbors shriek./ '"No more dancing on Easy Street!" The cats eyes snap open in surprise and they slink off as the sun rises. This should confirm kids beliefs that all the best stuff happens after bedtime. Ages 48. "(Mar.)" Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

Review quotes

Caroline Stutson
Caroline Stutson was born in New York City. She earned her BA in theater from the University of Denver and her degree in early childhood education from Metropolitan State College in Denver. A former kindergarten and reading teacher, Ms. Stutson now lives in Littleton, Colorado, where she works as a puppeteer and storyteller at the Highlands Ranch Library.

Jon Klassen is a Canadian-born author-illustrator. He has written and illustrated the acclaimed Hat series, including I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat, and We Found a Hat. Highlights of his illustrated books are Cats' Night Out by Caroline Stutson, Sam & Dave Dig A Hole by Mac Barnett, The Dark by Lemony Snicket, and The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse also by Mac Barnett. His books have won a Caldecott medal and two Caldecott honors and other international awards. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and son.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date
March 20, 2010
Paula Wiseman Collection
BISAC categories
JUV002050 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Cats
JUV023000 - Juvenile Fiction | Lifestyles | City & Town Life
JUV009030 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | Counting & Numbers
Library of Congress categories
City and town life
Stories in rhyme
Governor General's Literary Awards
Winner 2010 - 2010

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