Here Comes Teacher Cat

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Here Comes Teacher Cat Book Poster Image
Funny sub teacher tale shows classroom routines in fun way.

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

Educational Value

Shows some school day activities: music and art class, building time, snack time, nap time.

Positive Messages

It's nice to help out someone in an emergency -- especially if she's helped you out in the past. "Kittens can be fun!"

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cat steps up as a substitute teacher, even though teaching a class of kittens is challenging. The kittens are eager and helpful and clean up their mess.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Here Comes Teacher Cat is the fifth book by Deborah Underwood and illustrator Claudia Rueda starring a cat who answers the unseen narrator's questions by holding up signs with images on them. Here, Cat is asked to step in as a substitute teacher at Kitty School when Ms. Melba has to go to the doctor. Even though he'd rather be napping, he does a good job leading the kitties through their school activities, including art and music classes, building things with blocks, snack time, and cleanup. There's a lot of humor in the Cat-narrator exchanges, and it also offers a fun glimpse at school day routines, making it a good back-to-school or kindergarten book. 

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What's the story?

Cat steps in as substitute teacher at Kitty School in HERE COMES TEACHER CAT. He's reluctant to do anything that cuts into his napping schedule, but the unseen narrator says this is an emergency because she has to go to the doctor, and reminds him that Ms. Melba brought him soup when he was sick -- and it's only for a few hours. Cat rises to the occasion and does a good job, and the six kittens even learn how to talk with signs like Cat does.

Is it any good?

This fresh twist on a back-to-school book shows readers classroom routines through the reluctant but good-hearted Cat, who talks with signs. The interplay between unseen narrator and substitute teacher Cat fuel the humor, and Claudia Rueda's adorable, deadpan illustrations carry the simple story. This is as charming as the other books in the series and highly relatable in its school setting.

There's also a nice message about helping others in need, especially when they've helped you in the past. Showing Ms. Melba return to class wearing a cone from the vet is a sweet, funny touch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how school is portrayed in Here Comes Teacher Cat. Does it look fun? Does it look like any school you've been to or go to now?

  • Do you ever play teacher? What do you think is the hardest part about being a teacher? What would be the most fun about teaching kids in school? 

  • Have you ever tried having a conversation where you answered each question by holding up a picture like Cat does? See if you can do it. 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love school stories

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