ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Cats and Kittens in Children's Stories and Books

Updated on March 28, 2018
sheilamarie78 profile image

Sheila is the author of the Fiona the Theater Mouse series of children's books, as well as Treasure in a Mountain Cave. She is also a poet.

Cats Are THAT Interesting?

Cat's Eyes
Cat's Eyes | Source

What Is Your Favorite Cat Story?

Cat Stories Are Close to the Heart of a Cat Lover

Kitty-love is sweeping the internet these days. Whether you have a cat or not and whether you love them or they just make you sneeze, you can engage your young readers with a book about cats and kittens and easily bring a smile to their faces.

A good cat story has all the elements of any good story: plot, characters, setting, intrigue, excitement, drama! This is the kind of cat story you will love to tell and to which your audience will love to listen, whether that audience fills an auditorium or is one little person on your knee.

Cats can be described in as many ways as there are cats. They are independent and sometimes quirky. Cats can be lazy or a bundle of energy. One thing is certain: kitties are soft to the touch and many people love them to distraction. As characters in stories, cats are often humorous, maybe because they are like someone we know.

But kitties are not all just balls of fluff. In many homes they serve a purpose, too. Without cats, many houses would be overrun with mice and other rodents. This function of keeping down the rodent population translates into story characters that are sly and tricky. Cats are often portrayed over against the mice that must outwit them in order to survive.

This hub will explore some of these cat characters, these cool cats that show up in the oddest places.

Three Little Kittens

A Cat Story to Learn by Heart

The Three Little Kittens is a children's story that has been told and retold in many families. Several children I have known memorized the words themselves, yet still asked Mom or Dad to tell it again and again. There's something about the rhythm and repetition that appeals to kids. And of course, everyone can chime in for the "Meow, meow, meow!" part.

The Three Little Kittens is a cat story for the very young. There are many excellent versions of this story, but the one by Jerry Pinkney is the one I would choose to read to my little ones.

Jerry Pinkney's illustrations of this classic children's tale are really adorable! Your preschooler will love the cuddly kitten characters who make a mess but also clean up under Mama Cat's watchful eye. Children will identify with the kittens and will enjoy imitating their Meow refrain.


Kittens

Two of the three little kittens.
Two of the three little kittens. | Source

Dick King-Smith's Felines

Dick King-Smith has written many kids books with animal characters. His tales are hilarious and so much fun to read aloud. I have enjoyed many books by this author, which is why when I decided to write this hub about cat stories, I had to include one of his books.

Martin's Mice - by Dick King-Smith

Martin is a little kitten that wants to keep mice as pets! Martin cannot understand why the mice he loves and feeds and protects keep trying to escape. Later he learns the meaning of freedom when he himself is kept cooped up in an apartment. When he returns to his farm origins, he does so with a new appreciation for freedom.

In addition to the above book, Martin's Mice, Dick King-Smith has also written another book that includes cats, though they are not such attractive characters. In fact, these cats are the butt of the mice's torments. Three Terrible Trins is a story about triplet mice who try to rid their home of the pesky cats that terrorize their community.

Obviously, the mice are victorious!

Cat Stories by James Herriot

James Herriot's tales of a country veterinarian have warmed the hearts of millions. Here are two stories published as picture books that you may enjoy.

The Christmas Day Kitten - by James Herriot

Ruth Brown's illustration of one of James Herriot's beloved stories of being a veterinarian in the Yorkshire countryside makes for a heartwarming story for children and adults alike. This story revolves around Mrs. Pickering, a lonely older woman who befriends a stray cat. As Mrs. Pickering's hearth is the only safe place the cat has known, she returns there with her kitten on Christmas Day as she herself is dying.

Warm, loving illustrations by Ruth Brown accompany the text. A lovely book for a cat lover you know.

Moses the Kitten

Moses the Kittenis another story in the series by James Herriot and illustrated by Ruth Brown. Moses is a tiny bedraggled kitten that is found abandoned and half drowned and is nursed back to health on a nearby farm. He finds a home with the sow who takes a liking to him. Nice story with beautiful illustrations.

A Blue-Eyed Feline

A cat of elegance.
A cat of elegance. | Source

The Cat in the Hat -- Only Dr. Seuss Can Think These Characters Up!

Silliness upon silliness -- that's what Dr. Seuss serves up to his young readers. The Cat in the Hat is one of his earliest tales full of rhymes and nonsense.

There are finger puppets available that you can use to help you keep a young one interested in the story and to reenact it after the book is closed. These silly puppets may entice your child to open the book again and again. Think of how much fun you could have with these finger puppets!

The Owl and the Pussycat - Words by Edward Lear

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats - by T. S. Elliot

So many of us loved the musical "Cats" based on T.S. Elliot's popular poems. But even a reading of the poems themselves -- without the music and the costumes -- are a source of delight! Cat lovers both young and old will enjoy the rhythm of these poems about the different personalities of cats.

Here are a couple of readings of Elliot's poems, followed by songs from the Broadway production. Give them a listen and see if you agree that they are really fun.

The same poem as interpreted from the stage. Preview if you have little ones watching -- just my suggestion, parents!

Another Broadway rendition of an Elliot poem.

For railroad fans.

Socks - by Beverly Cleary

Poor Socks! He has been the focus of his human family for as long as he can remember. Suddenly Socks' world is shattered when a new baby arrives to the household. Now the woman and the man seem to care more about the new baby than they do about him. Socks starts to get into all kinds of trouble, such as wrestling with Auntie's wig.

Then comes the day when baby Christopher is old enough to become a playmate. Socks finally realizes that a new baby is not so threatening after all and can really make life even more fun!

Socks
Socks

This would be a fun read for any child, but especially one who is a new brother or sister and who feels the stress that such a new role in the family produces.

Reading about a pet going through "sibling rivalry" (or the pet equivalent of that emotion) would be an indirect way of focusing on the feelings without the pressure of a direct correlation that may or may not be the same as the child's own feelings. Having a cat express the mixture of emotions also adds a bit of humor to the situation.

 

Pete the Cat by James Dean

Some of my young friends are big fans of Pete the Cat, so I've added this book to my recommendations. He's a new cat to me, but he's a big hit among the 2 to 6 year olds I know. There are dozens of books in the Pete the Cat series related to themes such as shoes, going to the beach, seasons of the year and holidays, etc. The book I've linked to here is based upon the tortoise and the hare story of a race, this time between Pete and a turtle. In his quirky way, Pete discovers that the joy of a race is not winning, but in having as "groovy" of a time as one can along the way.

Two Pusses in Boots

Not the debonair cat you were expecting.
Not the debonair cat you were expecting. | Source

Puss in Boots

In some ways, this story is on the strange side, even for a cat tale. A few years ago, a movie came out starring the character of Puss in Boots, but don't confuse the movie with the book, as they are totally different.

The original Puss in Boots character comes from a 17th century European fairy tale of a trickster cat who deceives a king and an ogre to gain wealth, power, and the hand of the princess for his poor master.

The DreamWorks animated movie was made by the same people responsible for Shrek and is a prequel to the Shrek movies where Puss in Boots makes an appearance. The plot is totally different from the fairy tale and involves Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, and magical beans.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You - by The Oatmeal

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You

If you enjoy a good laugh -- and who doesn't? -- you may appreciate the book of cat humor written by the internet cartoonist Matt Inman, creator of The Oatmeal. Filled with satire about life with our feline friends, these cartoons will get you looking over your shoulder.

© 2010 sheilamarie78

Thanks for Visiting My Cat Stories Hub! - Please Let Me Know You Were Here. . . Meow!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 4 years ago

      @teelover: I'm glad you enjoyed them.

    • teelover profile image

      teelover 4 years ago

      Nice selection, thanes for sharing.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 4 years ago

      @Snakesmum: Sounds like a good one. I've read other books by that author and I enjoyed them. I'll give it a try.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 4 years ago

      @Aunt-Mollie: Thanks, Aunt-Mollie. I agree.

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      Cats and kids are a perfect combination.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @anonymous: T.S.Elliot's poems about cats are really fun, I agree! I learned them as songs from the production "Cats!"

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm so glad I got you smiling today, Tipi!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was still smiling, so came back to FB like.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Macavity breaks the laws of gravity....how fun is that, had never heard that poem before and you had me smiling! I've had cats that just "aren't there", a dog may look guilty but a cat will never confess!

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @Aunt-Mollie: The truth is out -- cats are lovable!

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 5 years ago

      I think the Internet has created an explosion of loving cats! Who would have thought?

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 5 years ago

      What a great lens and so nicely done! I love children's books about animals in particular. I had a nice collection of my German children's books, they accidentally got taken by the Goodwill when we were moving...I still pine over it...

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Love cats! Have you read "The Silent Meow" by Paul Gallico? It's quite old, but a good read. Nice lens.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @ATTHED LM: I'm so glad you enjoyed it, ATTHED.

    • ATTHED LM profile image

      ATTHED LM 5 years ago

      I had real fun reading this with my daughter, thanks

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @suepogson: Thanks, Sue.

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 5 years ago

      Aah! Lovely! :)

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @Cari Kay 11: Oh, I'm glad you enjoy these stories, Cari! Thanks for your comment.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      Some of our favorite stories!

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @rooshoo: Yes, rooshoo. I've known several little ones who could repeat it by heart.

    • rooshoo profile image

      rooshoo 5 years ago

      So cute! I love Three Little Kittens!

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: Thanks, WriterJanis. I like them, too.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I really like your lens as I love cats.

    • toweroflifeinc profile image

      toweroflifeinc 5 years ago

      @sheilamarie78: Not necessarily. We used to leave our bird out of the cage and put him on the edge of our cat's hang mat while she was in it. She just looked at him then went back to sleep. And this other cat I knew the bird would ride on his back cause they grew up together. It all depends on the cat's personality and how they grow up.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @Dressage Husband: Let's all listen to Robin!

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @Sue-DN: Sue-DN, how wonderful you have your flocks of birds to marvel at! I agree -- cats and birds don't mix, but maybe one day you'll have a new cat friend.

      I've never heard of "Tiptoes, the Mischievous Kitten." I'll have to look that cat story up!

    • profile image

      Sue-DN 5 years ago

      I remember 'Tiptoes, The Mischievous Kitten'....many years ago! My last elderly cat died a couple of years ago and I really miss having feline company - but I've been feeding the birds and now seem to have my personal flock so I don't feel I can introduce a cat at the moment - one day!

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 5 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Robin sez everyonez shuld reed Kittiy buks!

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Fun lens. I love cats, and I love to hear stories about them.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @LizMac60: Thank you, Liz!

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @nsixx99: Don't you just love those baby words? I still find myself saying my kids' baby words, but have to watch myself when they're at home so I don't annoy them.

    • potovanja profile image

      potovanja 5 years ago

      Super Duper lens my cat friend:). Thank you 4 visit my...

    • sheilamarie78 profile image
      Author

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      @rawwwwwws lm: Sounds cute! What's his name?

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 5 years ago

      Great lens! I have an orange tabby! Kinna funny, he acts quite like a dog sometimes! NICE LENS AGAIN

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 5 years ago

      Love cats so this lens is just perfect for me. Thank you for sharing

    • profile image

      dream1983 5 years ago

      Fantastic and beautiful lens, grat job! Squidlike

    • HomeArtist1 profile image

      Wendy Hughes 6 years ago from Charlotte

      I can't resist a tiny kitten! Their purr is pure magic.

      SMILES!

      ~Wendy

    • profile image

      nsixx99 6 years ago

      My son would love these books. He loves his kit kits (2 year old for Kitty). I will have to consider these for Christmas.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Blessed.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Love most kitten stories :)

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      I lensrolled this to Cats, Diamond Rings, and Poems. Nice lens.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Great tribute to cats. There are not too many nusery rhymes about dogs, are there? Cats have mystery and power beyond what we imagine. Featured on Star's Kittens.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      I love books and I love kitties, so of course, I think this is a wonderful lens!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Too Cute!

    • profile image

      livingfrontiers 7 years ago

      Cats make us laugh, and kids love cats.

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      I love cats so I love cats in fairy tales and childrens stories. What about Puss in Boots? I think he'd be a good fit in here too. Charming lens. (:

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 7 years ago

      I love cat stories! I know an orange cat whose written several cat books in the Why Some Cats Are Rascals series.. his books would fit very well on this lens. Angel blessed- go cat writers!

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Charming

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Cute idea for a lens. I learned to read from a cat story: "I See a Kitty." you neglected to mention one of my personal favorites: "Socks," by Beverly Cleary. And my favorite cat PI, Midnight Louie, created by Carole Nelson Douglas, but that's not a children's series.

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 7 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      I love cats and kittens. What a great idea for a lens. I especially love the cutie-pie kitten at the top of your lens. Thanks for sharing all these cat and kitten story links.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Well, I like this idea -- especially the Owl and the Pussycat -- it was so lyrical.

    working