Official Review: The Christmas Cats Care for the Bear

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Official Review: The Christmas Cats Care for the Bear

Post by kandscreeley » 06 Nov 2018, 11:39

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Christmas Cats Care for the Bear" by Constance Corcoran Wilson.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Christmas Cats are a group that enjoys helping other creatures of all types. Fred is a little bear who needs some help. You see, his hair is a bit unruly, and he's a little overweight. So, his peers aren't always kind to him. Will The Christmas Cats be able to help Fred?

The Christmas Cats Care for the Bear is for readers up to the 4th grade. The vocabulary might be too advanced for young ones just learning to read, but this is not a chapter book for older readers, either. This is part of a series of books about The Christmas Cats, but it also stands alone.

The illustrations are one of the most important aspects of a book for young readers as it helps to hold their attention. These illustrations were very cute and attention grabbing. They were very Christmas-centered with red and green borders as well as Christmas lights. It's clear that these were hand-drawn rather than computer-generated which is an absolute plus in my book.

The lesson of the story is one that even adults need a refresher on from time to time. The focus is getting along with others even when they are different than you are. Being kind to others no matter their looks is sometimes difficult.

The book has an ABCB rhyme scheme that it follows most of the way through the story. This is a clever device for helping those still struggling with reading to sound out difficult words on their own. Near the end, though, the rhyme scheme does stop abruptly when one of the characters introduces the reader to the other books about The Christmas Cats. I think it was fine to show the children the other books they could pick up, but there should have been more of a delineation between the end of the story and the introduction to other books in the series.

I also appreciated the extra material at the end of the story. There are some pages to color as well as a maze. The author even states that if the coloring pages are sent in, they will be added to their website. How fabulous would it be for children to see their work online? I think that's a wonderful touch.

There were some issues with the editing of the book, however. When it comes to children just learning to read, I've always stated that it's even more important to be grammatically correct with no typos. Sadly, this book is not quite up to par. There was unnecessary capitalization, extra punctuation (including an extra quotation mark) and incorrect comma usage. In addition, there was a very awkward sentence near the end. While I understand that the author did this purposely for rhyming, it is hard to understand.

All in all, The Christmas Cats Care for the Bear is a cute children's book with a great lesson to be learned. Due to the errors, though, I'm only able to rate it a 3 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to children who are past the learning to read stage but not yet ready for chapter books. In addition, it would be a great read aloud book for a classroom or library.

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The Christmas Cats Care for the Bear
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Post by Book Lover 35 » 07 Nov 2018, 00:41

Sounds like a great book for kids to read right now. I'm also a sucker for cats. I like the theme behind it. I'm glad it has great illustrations. Thank you for the review!
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Post by Bianka Walter » 07 Nov 2018, 01:36

I totally agree. Correct grammar in a children's book is vital. Because they are still learning to read, they are impressionable and could pick up bad habits. Maybe I'm reading too far into it. At least the drawings were amazing :)
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Post by JR Mercier » 07 Nov 2018, 01:38

It such a shame that the editing isn't on par because everything else sounds wonderful, especially the fact that the kiddies can send in their drawings and get some recognition for that. Still, I feel editing for a children's book needs to be 100% because their minds are so impressionable.
Great review and I love how thorough and informative you are!
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Post by cristinaro » 07 Nov 2018, 07:25

I would love to see the hand-drawn illustrations. I also agree with you that children would be delighted to have their drawings posted online. On the whole, this sounds like a nice book for children if the editing errors were fixed. Thanks for a detailed review!
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Post by melissy370 » 07 Nov 2018, 08:34

I like the lessons this book brings up. However, the errors are disappointing. Young readers need proper grammar in their books to learn. Great review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Nov 2018, 08:56

Book Lover 35 wrote:
07 Nov 2018, 00:41
Sounds like a great book for kids to read right now. I'm also a sucker for cats. I like the theme behind it. I'm glad it has great illustrations. Thank you for the review!
The cats are quite cute. It would be a great one for discussion. Thanks.
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Nov 2018, 08:57

Bianka Walter wrote:
07 Nov 2018, 01:36
I totally agree. Correct grammar in a children's book is vital. Because they are still learning to read, they are impressionable and could pick up bad habits. Maybe I'm reading too far into it. At least the drawings were amazing :)
That's the way I've always felt about children's books. Adults at least know the difference (most of the time.) Children don't have that advantage yet. Thanks!
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Nov 2018, 08:59

JR Mercier wrote:
07 Nov 2018, 01:38
It such a shame that the editing isn't on par because everything else sounds wonderful, especially the fact that the kiddies can send in their drawings and get some recognition for that. Still, I feel editing for a children's book needs to be 100% because their minds are so impressionable.
Great review and I love how thorough and informative you are!
Thanks! Yes, I thought sending in the drawings was such a fabulous idea. But, I found more than 10 errors. In such a short book, that really is quite a lot.
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Nov 2018, 09:00

cristinaro wrote:
07 Nov 2018, 07:25
I would love to see the hand-drawn illustrations. I also agree with you that children would be delighted to have their drawings posted online. On the whole, this sounds like a nice book for children if the editing errors were fixed. Thanks for a detailed review!
I haven't seen many children's books where they can send in their drawings. That's so unique. It's just too bad about the errors. Thanks!
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Nov 2018, 09:01

melissy370 wrote:
07 Nov 2018, 08:34
I like the lessons this book brings up. However, the errors are disappointing. Young readers need proper grammar in their books to learn. Great review.
Absolutely! Other than the capitalization errors, there were several errant quotation marks. That's definitely something that could easily be fixed.
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Post by Cecilia_L » 07 Nov 2018, 09:15

Though this sounds like a really cute children's book, I agree completely about the importance of proper grammar. Great review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Nov 2018, 09:22

Cecilia_L wrote:
07 Nov 2018, 09:15
Though this sounds like a really cute children's book, I agree completely about the importance of proper grammar. Great review!
Thanks! It was certainly cute enough. With the activities, it could be a real winner.
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Post by Vickie Noel » 07 Nov 2018, 14:47

Thank you very much for being very precise with the class of readers the book belongs to, to avoid confusion or boredom. I like the theme of care from the cats and I believe it's never too early/late to stamp upon young minds, the importance of being kind to others despite differences. Thanks for the detailed review.
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Nov 2018, 14:50

Vickie Noel wrote:
07 Nov 2018, 14:47
Thank you very much for being very precise with the class of readers the book belongs to, to avoid confusion or boredom. I like the theme of care from the cats and I believe it's never too early/late to stamp upon young minds, the importance of being kind to others despite differences. Thanks for the detailed review.
Thanks! I agree that we need to teach kindness early. This is definitely a cute book to do so.
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