BELGIUM’S FESTIVAL OF CATS

Every three years in the month of May, people in Ypres, Belgium participate in a festival specifically dedicated to cats.  Yes, to cats.  This festival is called Kattenstoet or Kattenfestival.  People attend Kattenstoet parades, dress up in cat costumes, and toss stuffed toys cats in the air.

Even though the Kattenstoet is a fun and joyous day of celebration, it has a dark history.  Kattenstoet dates back to the Middle Ages.  Ypres was a cloth manufacturing town that had a problem with too many mice.  Cats were attracted to the mice, hunted them, and ate them.  The people of Ypres were glad to see the mice gone, but soon they had another problem– too many cats.  To solve this problem, the court jester tossed the cats off the church belfry.  Fortunately, if you were to go to Kattenstoet in modern times, you wouldn’t see live cats tossed from the church belfry.  Instead, you would see people in the belfry tossing stuffed toy cats to the children below.  Meow!

There are a lot of fun children’s books about cats out there that have absolutely nothing to do with tossing cats off of belfries.  Thank goodness!  The following six cat books are high interest and popular books among children.  Some these books are relatively new and some of them have been around for awhile.  If you know about other cat books that children may enjoy, please let us know in the comments below!  Do you see a book you like?  Affiliate links to Amazon are included for your convenience.

1. ‘IF YOU GIVE A CAT A CUPCAKE’ BY LAURA NUMEROFF

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake is another circle story by Laura Numeroff.  If you enjoyed the story If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, you will enjoy this one!

2. ‘SPLAT THE CAT’ BY ROB SCOTTEN

It’s Splat the Cat’s first day of school and he is feeling nervous.  Splat the Cat hides his friend Seymour the mouse in his lunchbox to help him feel better.  While at school Splat the Cat learns about nature and self-esteem.

3. ‘SKIPPYJON JONES’ BY JUDY SCHACHNER

Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese cat with large ears that make him look like a Chihuahua. He has a group of imaginary Chihuahua friends, Los Chimichangos.

4. ‘PETE THE CAT: I LOVE MY WHITE SHOES’ BY ERIC LITWIN

Pete the Cat goes walking down the street wearing his brand new white shoes.  Along the way, his shoes change from white to red to blue to brown as he steps in piles of strawberries, blueberries, and other big messes!

5. ‘GRUMPY CAT’ BY BRITTA TECKENTUMP

Grumpy Cat so grumpy that no one wants to play with him. . . no one except for a tiny kitten who is determined to make friends with him.

6. ‘BAD KITTY’ BY NICK BRUEL

Bad Kitty is about a cat who goes berserk when she finds out all of her favorite foods are gone!  The only foods that are left include  Asparagus, Beets, Cauliflower, Dill, etc.  She was so upset by this that she Ate the homework, Bit grandma, Clawed the curtains, Damaged the dishes, and so on!

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