How to Write: Prompts and Inspiration for Kids
When cousins Mellie and Dennis decide to get a cat, they consider carefully what breed would be best for each family. For example, Mellie wants a cat that pounces, but Dennis wants a lazy cat, like his lazy dog, Clark Kent. Mellie wants a lap cat, but Dennis just wants a warm body BESIDE him. They consider different cat personalities, family situations, and personal preferences.
Mellie writes an opinion essay for her teacher, Mr. Eagle. But will her essay convince her parents to get the cat of her dreams?
This story takes a popular subject—kids getting a pet—and adds cats of all sizes and shapes: all writing lessons should be this much fun. In the end, it’s the cousins and the cats that keep a reader turning the page. What kind of cat will Mellie choose? Will Dennis want the same kind of cat?
PRAISE FROM CAT EXPERT
“This is an absolutely delightful book intended for children, but actually one that is informative for adults as well, it reinforces the importance of considering various factors when selecting a cat as a pet. The two cousins are exchanging thoughts about their lifestyles and priorities. They each have a vision of their ‘ideal cat.’ Though every cat is an individual, the book expresses the value of predictable personality traits and other characteristics of various pedigreed cat breeds. It is a charming story of the two children each going through the process of finding a cat who best fits their own preferences. The playful illustrations compliment the humorous and educational quality of the book.”
Joan Miller, Chair, CFA Outreach and Education, Cat Fancier’s Association
This is quite simply as informative a cat book as any text out there. Each selected breed pinpoints the single most important trait to know about it before choosing a cat ‘purrfect’ for you. Although written from a child’s perspective, it makes clear sense to readers of all ages. As a cat lover and Maine Coon Cat breeder and enthusiast, I was thrilled with the spot on description and story of this beloved breed.
— Alexis Mitchell, Syracoon/Furensics, Maine Coon Cat Breed Council Secretary, Maine Coon Cat breeders of CFA
“I Want a Cat: An Opinion Essay” by Darcy Pattison is a delightful book. Being both a teacher who works with dyslexic students, and a breeder of pedigreed cats, I would highly recommend this book to young writers. The importance of good writing skills are stressed by using a creative and entertaining story. It would be a book that I would recommend to my colleagues who teach younger students. I also like that the book introduces several breeds of pedigreed cats, as well as responsible pet ownership in using criteria to determine what breed of cat is best for suited for their families. It is refreshing to see responsible pet ownership presented to younger children. “
— Julie Keyer, Faculty, The Lewis School of Princeton, CFA Breed Council Secretary, Oriental Cats
This popular book hits many notes:
- A family story about cousins, Dennis and Mellie
- Information on cat breeds
- Responsible cat ownership
- Mentor-text for teaching writing
- Model opinion essay for elementary students
- Models the writing process, especially the importance of pre-writing or planning before you write
- Completes the writing process by showing the results of Mellie’s essay
I WANT A CAT almost makes opinion essays look too easy.
REVIEWS OF THE READ AND WRITE series of popular books
“. . .fill(s) a niche for teachers. . .” – School Library Journal 5/1/15
• “. . .breezy and engaging introduction to genre writing.”
• “The model essay can be used across multiple genres (informational and narrative nonfiction in addition to opinion).”
• “. . .useful for teachers showing early elementary students the relevancy, power, and importance of effective writing.” –Booklist 6/17/15