A few things immediately drew me to this book- first, Christian Robinson, need I say more?!? His artwork is so engaging. The cover has lots of polka dots and I love polka dots, there are also cats and a kid- I love them too! The book is a visual treat- paint and collage, and no words, so the pictures are the story- and this was just the complexity that my third graders explored one December afternoon.
The third graders said:
L The cat with blue collar was looking for blue mouse. She was looking for one that “matches” her, the one that is her’s.
M Even without words the book has a lot of thinking and good explaining.
A I think there might be another book where they meet again and the blue cat gets a blue mouse.
L2 They look like they are the exact opposite of each other, but it is quite a complicated story.
We talked about perspective and what was “right” or “normal” and we agreed that this was a book that would need further readings. The students immediately noticed the use of color, the diversity represented, and the ambiguity portrayed. If you have not read wordless picture books with your students yet try this out. The book jacket lists it as for ages 4-8, but I have to disagree. This is a book that can be explored and understood on so many levels. I can easily imagine it as a provocation for a unit that looks into perspective, setting, character change/development, and more, in middle or high school. It still has me thinking! We are about to embark on a history unit where we will be reading to learn more about characters and writing informational graphic novels- we will revisit this mentor text (even though it might not seem like an obvious choice).