Thursday, September 10, 2009

Big Cat, Small Cat by Ami Rubinger - Book Review and Giveaway


"This cat is big
This cat is small
This cat is short
This cat is ..."

- Big Cat, Small Cat by Ami Rubinger

When you read to children, do you actively engage them in the story by asking questions and encouraging interaction? Studies have shown the positive effects on language development when children become involved in the story and participate in the storytelling. This method of reading is called dialogic reading. Reading Rockets, an excellent online children's reading resource, published an article on this topic with the following statement:
"Dialogic reading works. Children who have been read to dialogically are substantially ahead of children who have been read to traditionally on tests of language development. Children can jump ahead by several months in just a few weeks of dialogic reading."
You can read all types of picture books when trying to implement the dialogic reading technique. However, some books already have built in prompts that help parents actively read with their children. A new picture book titled Big Cat, Small Cat by Ami Rubinger is one such book.

Comical pairs of felines in every shape, color, size and disposition sit on hills and fill the pages of Big Cat, Small Cat. Rubinger uses the various cats to discuss opposites. The text features short, simple, rhyming verses. Children can participate in the storytelling by listening to the rhyme and using clues in the illustrations to fill in the blank at the end of each four-line rhyme. The missing word rhymes with the last word in the second line. For instance, "This cat is dirty, this cat is clean. This cat is nice, this cat is ... [mean]." The author, Ami Rubinger, resides in Tel-Aviv and this book is translated from the Hebrew version.

We have our own big cats here, so obviously my kids enjoy all books about cats. My daughter liked the fill-in-the-blank aspect of the book the best. She surprised me by guessing all the rhyming words correctly the first time we read the book together. Completion prompts are one of the five types of dialogic reading prompts to use with your children. I've read several books to my daughter where I've omitted a word intentionally and asked her what word comes next. Up until reading Big Cat, Small Cat I hadn't encountered a book that deliberately omitted words for educational purposes. The often silly accompanying illustrations helped set a fun tone to the book. We got a good laugh noting the stark opposites of the "good," white, angel cat and the "bad," black, ears-on-fire cat. The book strangely ends with a "bedtime book" message that seems out of place in a book that would normally be appropriate to read any time of the day. Here's our own silly rhyme to sum up our overall opinion: "This book contains cats; and opposites abound. Filling in the blanks, it's a fun read all-round!"

Big Cat, Small Cat written and illustrated by Ami Rubinger ; translated from the Hebrew by Ray Baitner. Abbeville Kids (August 2009); 28 pages; ISBN 9780789210296
Book Source: Review copy provided by for free by Abbeville Press. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)


Related Links:
Ami Rubinger - Author Website
Reading Rockets Article: "Dialogic Reading: An Effective Way to Read to Preschoolers"
Giggle poetry.com:Poetry fill-in-the-blank for older children

Win a copy! Abbeville Press has kindly offered to give away (1) copy of Big Cat, Small Cat to a Brimful Curiosities reader.

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post.
• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• Contest is open to US only
• Contest ends on Monday, September 21st, 2009 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random A Prizy Pick
Four ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 5 - leave a separate comment for each entry):
1st extra entry: Visit Abbeville Press and let me know the title of another children's book that you'd like to read.
2nd extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader
3rd extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
4th extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.

155 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This looks so cute! It reminds me of the Dr. Seuss book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Please enter me!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I follow you on twitter and left a comment here:

http://twitter.com/rhapsodybooks/status/3894108614

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

LoveMy2Dogs said...

This book sound really awesome. I would love to have it to read to my daycare kiddos.

I think that sometimes parents forget to teach their children about opposites.

jrandtam[at]columbus.rr.com

LoveMy2Dogs said...

I follow you twitter and tweeted.

http://twitter.com/lovemy2doggies/status/3896157796

LoveMy2Dogs said...

I would love to have the book City Mouse and Country Mouse. It's such a good story.

etirv said...

I like the Mother Daughter Tales from Abbeville Press!

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

What a delightful book for a preschooler and a first grader.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Infant Bibliophile said...

My son is a HUGE fan of cats lately, since we moved onto a street with about 10. He'd love this. Thanks for the give away. :)

Staci said...

I love finding books that actively engage my little one, and he loves cats, so this one seems right up his alley. Thanks for the chance to enter!
mommastaci33(at)yahoo(dot)com

Staci said...

The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats looks great too!
mommastaci33(at)yahoo(dot)com

Alice H said...

My son is really into cats and dogs these days - he'd love this book! Thanks for the chance!alicedemskehansen at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

My son would love this book. He loves animals, especially cats.
gemitan@aol.com

Nad said...

I always try to get my children engaged while I read to them. I ask questions about the story, ask them what they'd do if they were the story's character, etc.
This looks like a cute one!

treflea4 at gmail dot com

Nad said...

I'd love to read Princess Tales with my kiddos.

treflea4 at gmail dot com

Karen L said...

We are a cat loving household so this book really appeals to me! Another book that I would like to read is Everett The Incredibly Helpful Helper!

Karen L said...

Following you on Twitter as Karenladd and tweeted here:!
http://bit.ly/3OmFqc

The Allen Family said...

I totally do that leaving out a word with my boys all the time. I just did it tonight when we read, although I accidentally forgot one time and my boys for sure pointed it out. :) What a fun book.

tinagirl said...

The "bad," black, ears-on-fire cat is living with me now and reeking havoc on my home - lol!

Donna said...

What a cute book! I so want this for my niece! Thanks for the giveaway.

Lisa said...

Please enter me. My son and I have been doing "fill in the blank reading" together lately.
iluvchrisnlevi@aol.com

judybrittle said...

What a cute book! My granddaughter would just love this. Thank you so much!

judybrittle said...

Little Red Car Gets in Trouble looks like another really fun book to read.

judybrittle said...

I follow on Twitter and tweeted
http://twitter.com/kewpiedoll04/status/3916110870

Terra H. said...

This would be a great book for my step-daughter to read. Thanks.
partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

Honey Mommy said...

I think my son would be good at this. We already do a little bit of dialogic reading at home, I just didn't know that's what it was called!

Plus the only cats my boys will ever get are the ones in books! I am allergic!

Honey Mommy said...

My sons would like the Turn-the-Wheel: Fire Engine book at Abbeville Press.

Dolphin Girl said...

I am allergic to cats, so we like to enjoy books about animals we can't have. Thanks!

Elsie said...

We love cats
in books, oh yes...
Love to read,
And rhyme and guess!

It's so fun,
to read together,
filling in words,
and making fun better!!

pumpkinlady430@yahoo.com

cabadov said...

I can't enter, but I just had to say thanks for posting. My kids are cat obsessed. I'll have to look for this locally.
Cheers

Kristie said...

Sounds like a book my little ones would love!

khmorgan_00 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Beth said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Jill said...

I'd like to read "Mother and Daughter Tales" It looks to be a wonderful read!

Jill said...

I follow you on Twitter as Coupons4Me

Here's my Tweet..

http://twitter.com/Coupons4Me/status/3928017130

CanCan (Mom Most Traveled) said...

I don't know why, but both of my kids are cat-crazy! We don't even have a cat!
I think they would enjoy this book! :)

onlycancan ta hotmail tod com

CanCan (Mom Most Traveled) said...

Another title that intrests me is Tough Times For Father Bear. I laughed at the description :)

onlycancan ta hotmail tod com

Madeline said...

My little guy isn't quite two, but he's very into "reading". I read to him every day and really try to allow him to be an active participant.

Helen said...

As a grandmother, I can not have enough of these great books. Thank you for giving me the chance to win this one.

GabbyLowe said...

timmiedeluca@comcast.net

My daughter loves cats so I think she's really enjoy this book

Mary said...

This looks like such a cute book to read to my daycare kids. I have a 2 year old right now who would love this because we have cats and he's enchanted by them.

mamie316(at)sbcglobal.net

abfantom said...

This looks like an awesome book. I'd love to read it with my daughter who loves cats.


abfantom at yahoo dot com

Carol EL said...

I have a couple grandaughters that this book would be perfect for. jelly15301@gmail.com

Carol EL said...

City Mouse,Country Mouse is another book that looks fun to read to the grandkids.jelly15301@gmail.com

Fionen said...

My nephew is crazy about cats so I think he'll be delighted by this book. I love that it lets the children guess the words. I think he would get a kick out of that too.

Fionen said...

I'd like to read Mother and Daughter Tales - Retold by Josephine Evetts-Sacker, Illustrated by Helen Cann. The artwork is gorgeous.

Fionen said...

I subscribe to your feed via Google Reader.
email: fionen_ftw{at}fionen{dot}com

sweepmom said...

Sounds like a really cute book. Of course the fact that we are cat owners even adds to the appeal.

clynsg said...

Definitely would be a fun book to read to my grandson.

clynsg at yahoo.com

clynsg said...

Another good one would be City Mouse and Country Mouse.

clynsg at yahoo.com

degood said...

This looks like a book my kitty loving preschooler would enjoy.

degood said...

I think my son and I would enjoy the Turn-the-Wheel Boxed Set from abbeville books

degood said...

I follow you on twitter and tweeted

http://twitter.com/kmayans/statuses/3955289417

Carol said...

I would love to win this for my grandsons! I have two cats and they love to play with them when they visit me! Thank you for the giveaway!
Carol M
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol said...

I would like to read Bring On the Blue to my grandsons.
Carol M
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol said...

I follow you on Twitter - CarolAnnM
I tweeted this giveaway.
Carol M
mittens0831 at aol dot com

kdkdkd said...

This would be perfect for reading with my 2 year old. We are a 4 cat houshold so he already has cats on the mind LOL

janetfaye said...

It looks like a book children will love.

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

janetfaye said...

I follow on Twitter - Janetfaye

Tweet:
http://twitter.com/Janetfaye/status/3972212838

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

Katrina said...

i love reading to my daughter and she loves animals so I think this would be a good book for her...we have not read it yet

Anonymous said...

My son would absolutely love this book. He's an animal lover, especially cats.
gemitan@aol.com

Rebecca N. said...

What cute little book. My boys would love to read this book! My oldest just adores kitty cats! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

I just wanted to mention that I just found your site today, while I was entering for a book giveaway on Luxury Reading! I'm so glad I decided to check it out!I have been trying to figure out where all the childrens book giveaways were for quite some time now. Now that I have found your site, I've found them! Hooray! What a great day! Thanks so much! I've put you on my blog roll so I'll be able to find your Full To The Brim List anytime, and share it with others. :)

imsosweepy { at } gmail { dot } com

Rebecca N. said...

I think Everett, the Incredibly Helpful Helper sounds funny!

imsosweepy { at } gmail { dot } com

Rebecca N. said...

I follow your blog!
I subscribe via google reader

imsosweepy { at } gmail { dot } com

Rebecca N. said...

I follow on twitter and tweeted!

http://twitter.com/Sparkleglow/status/4005224975

imsosweepy { at } gmail { dot } com

Linda said...

Cute book, I would love to have it to read to my grandson.
lgrieser(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

wombatspurple said...

Who doesnt love a good sweet cat?!?!
wombatspurple(at)yahoo.com

ibeeeg said...

My gosh. I am glad I came across this book. I have not heard of Dialogic Reading before although, it makes complete sense. In a way, I have already been doing this with my children but after reading the link you posted, I am going to be more purposeful with dialogic reading - PEER sequence. This may be a great thing for my six year who has some delays.

The book itself looks fabulous. A must for this house regardless if we win or not.

I follow your blog.
I follow you on twitter and tweeted about this contest. (ibeeeg)

ibeeeg(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie said...

I would give this book to one of my friend's little girl

aunteegem@yahoo.com

Lucyinthesky said...

This looks like a book my kids would absolutely enjoy. Thanks for the chance!

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

Lucyinthesky said...

Found another great book at the website

Ready for Red

Thanks for the chance!

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

Lucyinthesky said...

Long time email subscriber.

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

Mimi the kitten said...

I work at a cat sanctuary, and we would love to have this in our library! :-)

Jackie Blue said...

My granddaughter would LOVE this book as she is such a cat lover!!

pixie13 said...

My daughter would love this book. Thanks for the great giveaway.

taxchyk said...

A family friend is very strapped now and has too few books to read her child. I'd love to be able to give this to her...

Cassie M said...

Our daughter is three and is still learning her letters, but when she does start to read this would be a great book for her! She loves cats and this looks like an easy read, how perfect!
Cassie
cjm92995@yahoo.com

Amanda said...

THis sounds like a cute book. I have a 4 year old daughter who would love it. macd82 at gmail dot com

amyd said...

My son loves cats&loves to read,so this would be great for him!

ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

Cheryl said...

Starting my daughter's book collection, please consider us. Thanks

Andrea B said...

I love cats, and this would be a great way to help impart that.
dearandrea
at sbcglobal.net

Anonymous said...

This book is adorable! I've not seen it before (though I'm always on the look out for kitty books because my granddaughters lov cats!) Would love to win this for them.
cats4me at frontiernet dot net

demmi said...

the book looks so cute please enter me con5459(at)gmail(dot)com

mail4rosey said...

I know a little girl who loves cats, and this would be a great gift for her!

msurosey@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

My niece, Hannah, has a fascination with cats!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

chaipo said...

I always try to ask K questions when we read. It's funny, because now she is quizzing me!

chaipoak@gmail.com

chaipo said...

Went on Abbeville's site and saw the butterfly dance. My daughter loves butterflies and would find that book fascinating!

chaipoak@gmail.com

Kristy said...

My daughter would really enjoy this book! Rhyming and cats, 2 things she enjoys! : )

jellibeenz1978@hotmail.com

Kristy said...

I'd also like the check out "The Butterfly Dance"!

jellibeenz1978@hotmail.com

Kristy said...

Follow and tweeted-
http://twitter.com/jellibeenz1978/status/4157697935

jellibeenz1978@hotmail.com

Pam said...

We have the world's BIGGEST tomcat. His name is Romeo. My kids would love to read this book. Thanks so much!
pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Pam said...

From Abbeville, I'd also like "Mother and Daughter Tales". Thanks so much!
pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Pam said...

I'm a curious follower through GFC! Thanks so much!
pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

sherri419 said...

My goddaughter's first word was Kitty so I know she would love this book! Thanks for the chance!

sherri419 at gmail dot com

sherri419 said...

Coyote in Love with a Star looks like a great read as well! Thanks!

sherri419 at gmail dot com

bridget3496 said...

My little grandson is such an animal lover, he'd really enjoy this!

lilyk said...

This book sounds very interesting. I'll definitely check it out!

Gwendolyn B. said...

I love it! I'd love to win it! I'm diving in to get those extra entries! Thanks for the chance.

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Gwendolyn B. said...

But now I see I'm too late! Oh well, that's what bookstores are for! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.