Barn Cat: A Counting Book

Book review by
Susan Fitzgerald, Common Sense Media
Barn Cat: A Counting Book Book Poster Image
This book keeps readers counting and guessing.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the Caldecott-winning illustrator treats readers to hand-colored woodprints. Readers will enjoy the simple story and count along with each turn of the page.

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What's the story?

A welcome combination of rhyming verse and distinctive woodcuts, BARN CAT keeps readers counting and guessing what this single-minded cat is looking for. The farm setting works well for this simple math lesson, which is further reinforced by large numbers on the corner of each page.


Is it any good?

Award-winning artist Mary Azarian's bold, lush woodcuts sing across the pages of this fun counting book. One full-page spread shows three monarch butterflies resting on purple flowers while the striped cat, with one eye open, spies on them. Another shows a close-up of seven baby birds chirping away in their treetop nest as the barn cat naps below.

Easy counting and simple verse kept two young readers absorbed by BARN CAT. With each turn of the page, the 2-year-old and 5-year-old would repeat the verse: "Barn cat, barn cat, what are you looking for?" And though the preschooler added his insights into what this usually tranquil feline might be in search of, the toddler liked to go over the numbers again and again.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about counting. Find things to count while out for a walk, at home, or on an outing.

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