Cover image for Top cat
Top cat
Ehlert, Lois.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego, Calif. : Harcourt Brace, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
The top cat in a household is reluctant to accept the arrival of a new kitten but decides to share various survival secrets with it.
Reading Level:
120 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.1 0.5 27508.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.5 1 Quiz: 13086 Guided reading level: H.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Clearfield Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Oversize
East Aurora Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Grand Island Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenilworth Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Oversize
Audubon Library PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Oversize

On Order



Top Cat rules the house until an unexpected box from the humane society arrives with someone new--and cute--inside. At first, Top Cat doesn't want to share his house and favorite things, but soon he learns that two cats can be lots more fun than one. Lois Ehlert's collage illustrations capture the amusing antics of Top Cat and his spunky sidekick in this romping read-aloud.

Author Notes

Lois Ehlert was born November 9, 1934, in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and the Layton School of Art. She has also worked as an art teacher, freelance illustrator, and designer. Her work as an author and an illustrator has appeared in countless publications and has received numerous awards and honors.

In addition to creating books, Ehlert has produced toys, games, clothes for children, posters, brochures, catalogs, and banners. She has received the Caldecott Honor Book, 1989, for Color Zoo, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for Snowballs, the Booklist Editors' Choice for Cuckoo/Cucú: A Mexican Folktale/Un Cuento Folklórico Mexicano, the IRA Teachers' Choice and NCTE Notable Children's Trade Book in the Language Arts for Feathers for Lunch, the American Library Association Notable Children's Book and Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-6. Top Cat's life is pretty dull, until a new striped kitten moves in. Loathed at first sight, the little one survives the older cat's verbal and physical attacks. Finally, Top Cat grudgingly turns the other whisker. Accepting the inevitable, he teaches the young interloper the joys of feline mischief: eating plant leaves, dancing on the table, and all ends happily with a welcoming purr. Occasionally forced, the brisk rhymed text does provide bounce to the pounce. Ehlert's distinctive collages portray a remarkable range of expression and movement and are sure to tickle funny bones. In a few pictures, the two cats are difficult to distinguish, but children will sort them out with close observation. Conflict resolution and acceptance stories are in high demand; this one is pleasantly light on the message and heavy on the fun. --Linda Perkins

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Top cat" is just that‘the pet who rules the roost. That is, until a striped kitten arrives on the scene. Angry and jealous at first, the older cat hisses and bites, letting the new arrival know who's boss. But once the cat realizes the kitten is a permanent addition to the household, it makes the best of a difficult situation and becomes mentor to the fluffy newcomer. Lessons ensue: how to leave fur on the couch, chew on the houseplants, chase birds and "drink from the sink when company's there." With the knowing tone of a true cat lover, Ehlert's (Hands; Color Zoo) rhymed couplets accurately describe the common‘often naughty‘habits of house cats, and cat owners will nod in recognition at her scenarios. Visually, Ehlert creates a memorable cat duo in her trademark cut-paper collage style. Using pulpy, textured paper saturated with color, she assembles crisp shapes into forms exuding purr-sonality. On nearly every page she also includes sound effects, printed in small red letters, to accompany the cats' actions ("chomp," "swish," "scritch") and background noises (birdcalls, clanking silverware, etc.). Children and other feline fans will quickly warm to this spunky story of rivalry and acceptance. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Ehlert has a way with collage. In one double-page illustration a cat with its hackles raised bristles beautifully. Sad to say, the story line is so poorly expressed that the book might have been better without a text. "Go away, cat! You've invaded my space. And I don't like your cute little face" does nothing to convey the feelings of a cat whose favorite chair has been usurped by a kitten. The inevitable reconciliation between the two felines comes about more because the requisite number of pages have been filled than because of any development in the animals' relationship. This topic has been treated so well by so many talented authors and illustrators including Charlotte Voake in Ginger (Candlewick, 1997) that Ehlert's addition to the canon is truly superfluous.-Miriam Lang Budin, Mt. Kisco Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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