A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Book Review: The Cat Encyclopedia for Kids

The Cat Encyclopedia for Kids, by Joanne Mattern
When we decided to review the new Cat Encyclopedia for Kids, we expected a rather slim volume with lots of pictures of different cat breeds and a little text about each one. But this book by Joanne Mattern turned out to be much, much more. So much more that we think it would be interesting reading for adults, not just for the 9- to 12-year-olds it’s recommended for.

Yes, there are lots of pictures of cats, but the text is much more, um, encyclopedic than we expected. The book gives readers a truly in-depth look at 12 popular breeds, plus a much shorter description of 30 additional breeds. The breeds covered in detail range from Abyssinian to Maine coon, Manx, Siamese, and Sphynx. Each breed’s chapter includes a short introduction, a page or more of breed history, followed by the breed’s physical traits and personality, tips for caring for the breed, and a section on how to decide whether that breed is right for you. “Fun Facts” are sprinkled throughout, many of which are pretty interesting, in addition to being fun (for example, did you know that 71 American Shorthairs took part in the very first cat show in the United States?).

The book has a colorful, eye-catching design and many, many full-color photos that give readers a great idea of what each breed actually looks like, as well as some of the variation within the breeds. The text is very clear, straightforward, and easy to read. Our one quibble is that the text mentions pet stores as possible places to buy cats of specific breeds. This distressed us, because we think it’s best to deal directly with a reputable breeder so you can learn about that cat’s history and health. We just don’t trust stores to have cats from healthy, humane backgrounds. We did appreciate the repeated mention of shelters and breed-specific rescue groups as places to find a new furry family member, though.

Our verdict

We think The Cat Encyclopedia for Kids is a great book for young cat lovers. Its pages show kids (and adults) just how different cats can actually be from one another in terms of temperament and personality—and how important it is to choose a cat (whether purebred or not) who will be a good fit for your household, rather than going strictly by looks, as so many people seem to do. We also appreciated the extensive breed histories, which provide a wealth of information on where this diversity came from. So fascinating!

Two Paws Up--A Great Read!

A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

We received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We wouldn’t tell you it was good unless we really liked it!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!


  1. Once children learn to care for cats, then they'll care for them for their whole lives! Yay!

  2. This sounds like a fabulous book! I was so disappointed when I was approved to review this book from NetGalley, then didn't know how to transfer the protected PDF to my Kindle :(

    1. I have trouble with that too. I always end up reading PDFs on an iPad or my laptop, although *supposedly* there is a way to send them to Kindle.

  3. OoOOOOoooOooo!
    I am going to have to see if I can find this for my Grand Daughters!
    They would LOVE it!

  4. This looks like a good book. When my great niece gets a little older, I will get it for her.