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If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

Last updated Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Author: Laura Numeroff
Illustrator: Felicia Bond
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 0060283246
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2009

Synopsis: If you give an adorable gray kitten a supporting role in a popular series, he'll cry out for a lead—and thus, this latest entry from Numeroff and Bond, which features a cat that first appeared in If You Give a Pig a Party. Like its predecessors, the story bubbles with cascading if... then silliness: a girl's granting of a cupcake, for example, leads to a request for sprinkles, which causes a mess; cleaning up gets the cat overheated, which prompts a trip to the beach, and so forth. Some of the connections feel forced even for this series (a ride on a merry-go-round whale inspires a wish to go to a science museum), but the vivacity of the drawings and pertness of the kitty protagonist make up for the shortcomings. Besides, a lot of the series' appeal can be credited to the competency and ingenuity of the various human enablers in the books. While sometimes baffled by the goings-on, the girl in these pages is able to roll with the punches—unlike many adults.

Note to readers:
•  Vocabulary: sprinkles, treadmill, museum, apes

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you like cupcakes?
•  Should cats eat cupcakes?
•  Why do you think the cat wants a cupcake?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Where did the cat like to go?
•  Do cats like water?
•  Have you been to a science museum before?
•  What do you do when you get sand in your shoes?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a giant cupcake: Using the template, cut out the cupcake holder, the cupcake topping and the candles. For fun, cut out each part from different colored construction paper. Using crayons or cutting scraps, decorate the top of the cupcake with “sprinkles”, “confetti” or cutout cherries, gummy worms/bears, flowers and any other decoration. Attach your finished cupcake to a wooden stick to carry around.
•  Make a Cat Mask: Cut out a round shape for your mask. Cut out 2 triangles for the ears and glue. Cut out a larger triangle for the nose and glue. Add whiskers, eyes and a smile! With yarn/string, attach the mask to the kids!
•  Make a Pop Up Birthday/Mother’s Day Card: Take a piece of construction paper and cut in half “hamburger” style. Fold each piece in half to form a card shape. Take one of the halves and make 2 cuts two inches apart on the folded edge. Fold down to create a crease. Open the half and push out the cuts to form a “table”. Glue this half to the other half of construction paper. (For fun, have the kids share their paper to they glue different colors together) You can cut the “table” half slightly smaller than the other half to create a colorful edge. Cut out a birthday cake shape, party hat shape, happy face shape or any other “pop up” you want and glue to the side of the “table”.
•  Make a Party Hat to Celebrate Reading to Kid's 10th Anniversary: Take construction paper and make into a cone shape by taking the two ends and slight rolling it into an ice cream cone. Make sure to leave a small hole at the top, so streamers can be inserted. Streamers can be made by cutting strips of construction paper and rolling them with a pencil to make a curl. Glue or tape streamers to the top of the hat. Then, cut out shapes or draw to decorate party hat. Also, cut out the numbers 1 and 0 to be glued onto the hat. Lastly, poke holes onto the bottom sides of the hat and string yarn through it.

Special activities:
•  Have the kids act out the scenes with you. For example: run in place (pretend you’re on a treadmill), row a boat, etc.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!