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Kat Kong

Last updated Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Author: Dav Pilkey
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0152049517
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2009

Synopsis: The furry residents of Mousopolis are twice terrorized by overgrown house pets in these daffy picturebooks "Written and directed" by the author of When Cats Dream (Orchard, 1992). Dogzilla rises from a volcano to break up the First Annual Mousopolis Barbecue Cook-Off, and scatter the Big Cheese's troops with her fearsome doggy breath-but the threat of a bath sends her scurrying back to her mountain. On the other hand, or paw, Dr. Vincent Varmint and his lovely assistant Rosie Rodent capture giant Kat Kong on an uncharted island and return to civilization, only to have the ferocious feline escape, create chaos in the streets, climb the tall Romano Inn, and take that long fall. Illustrations are painted in bright acrylics around cleverly trimmed and placed photographs of Pilkey's pet mice, cat, and corgi, for a wonderfully silly look, appropriately accompanied by a pun-laden text. Less elaborate, but much funnier and more creative than William Wegman's Cinderella (Hyperion, 1993). From School Library Journal.

Note to readers:
•  Vocabulary: perilous, ancient, colossal, burlap, hiss, ruckus, menace, ferociously, sacrificial, habitat

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you heard of King Kong?
•  How many animals do you see on the cover?
•  How do you spell “Cat”?
•  Do cats and mice get along?
•  What sounds do cats and mice make? Make your best cat sound.
•  Do you have a pet?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why does Dr. Varmint want to take Kat Kong back to the city?
•  What does Dr. Varmint do with Kat Kong?
•  Do you think Kat Kong will escape?
•  What does Kat Kong do when he escapes?
•  How does Captain Charles Limburger rescue Rosie?
•  What does "curiosity killed the cat" mean?
•  What does the island look like? (a cat)
•  Do you notice all of the clichιs? (Cat out of the Bag, Cat Got my Tongue, Curiosity Killed the Cat).
•  What do you think will happen next?
•  Do you know the story of King Kong?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Kat mask or a mouse mask.
•  Make a paper airplane.
•  Create a cityscape.
•  Make a Kat and mouse mobile.

Special activities:
•  Run around the classroom like Kat Kong.
•  Perform your best Kat Kong impression.
•  Make Kat Kong sounds.

*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!