I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really the biggest fan of Catch Cat by Claire Grace. The premise behind the book, namely teaching the geography of various places in the world and intermingling it with a search and find feature wasn’t bad. As a book, though, I think it sort of fell somewhat short. To fully appreciate this fact, you have to understand that the biggest reason I didn’t care for this was because it reminded me of a computer game I played when I was a kid that basically does the same thing this book does…but, in my opinion, does it better. The key difference? My First Amazing World Explorer is interactive in a way that Catch Cat, or any book, really, is not.
Honestly, there’s a lot of good that comes from kids having a book like this. It’s very educational–if a bit touristy–and provides a fun game (that of finding, or “catching” the cat) to keep young readers engaged throughout. And sure, it works fairly well. I can honestly say that I feel like a number of kids will enjoy reading this book and will likely learn from it.
But at the same time, the artwork is overcrowded, the text a bit dense in areas, and often leads me to imagine kids simply looking for the hidden cat and not even bothering with the rest. Everything else requires a little more sustained attention that many kids may very well not quite be in a place to be giving. Which is fine and understandable. Many children struggle to remain entertained by the same thing for an extended period of time. And I don’t personally feel that the setup in this book lends itself to keeping a child’s engagement once it’s been garnered.
So, ultimately, while I love and appreciate the idea I don’t really see this book as something I’d recommend. I’d rather it be in the format of an educational video game.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.