If Not For The Cat



If you’ve never read a poetry book with your kids, If Not For the Cat is a great gateway book. Jack Prelutsky doesn’t disappoint in this clever collection of animal haikus, packed with amazing word choose, he describes each by describing physical characteristics and behaviors, but without naming the animal.

I used to read these aloud to my first and second graders, without showing them the illustrations, turning an ordinary read aloud into a fun guessing game, using inferences to decipher the animal in question. Also makes for a fun quick game to play with your own kiddos. An excellent book for introducing the concept of a haiku.
Bonus points if you go above and beyond and clap out the syllables to ensure the 5:7:5 pattern. Okay, okay, enough teacherly tips, it’s also a pleasant read all on its own!

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