Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book review for The Christmas Cats Fear For the Deer

Constance Corcoran WilsonThe Christmas Cats Fear for the Deer by Constance Corcoran Wilson:

Publisher: Quad City Press; First edition (August 18, 2015)
Category: Children’s Books, Cats, Christmas Books
Tour Date: Oct & Nov, 2015
ISBN: 978-0982444887
Available in: Print, ebook,  36 Pages

Book Summary:
The Christmas Cats Fear for the Deer is a Seuss-ical tale for young children  (4th in the series) which builds upon the morals of the first three Christmas Cats books (The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats, The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats and The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats).
This year, the Christmas Cats in Silly Hats, who go about helping animals in distress, are trying to help save the lives of the deer who live in Scott County Park. Hunters are routinely sent to shoot the deer, and the cats want to warn the deer away, so that they will not fall victim to the town’s plans to “thin the herd.”
The Cop Cat, Cy, thinks up a particularly ingenious plan to save all the deer in Scott County Park by introducing them to a jolly old guy in a red suit who lives at the North Pole. Perhaps the deer can also help Santa on Christmas Eve, if they are outfitted with prosthetic (fake) antlers?
Illustrated with delightful drawings and written in rhyme, there are also interactive coloring book pages and mazes from the book’s website, which the author encourages children aged 3 to 10 to fill out and mail in for display. (www.TheXmasCats.com).

THE CHRISTMAS CATS FEAR FOR THE DEER is the fourth story in the Christmas Cats series. It is suppose to build up the morals of the first three books in the series. Book 1 focuses on cooperation. Book 2 focuses on acceptance. Book 3 focuses on the value of life and respect. Book 4 does touch upon some of those values but also includes bias in other areas.

Some great things about this book is that the illustrations are colorful and expressive, young children are going to love that. It is also written in rhyme and moves quickly. In the back of the book kids will find a maze and coloring pages they will enjoy. Readers of the other books in the series will love how the cats work together to solve a problem.

Some quibbles about the book. It paints hunters in a terrible light making them look like all they do is kill animals for fun. For people who hunt to live, eating off the bounty the meat provides, this will be offending. In the story the author makes a reference about how Santa can help the deer by giving them antlers so they can fit in. The first to this is that bucks already have antlers so they wouldn't need to be added to them only the does and the fawns. The reference refers to how "soldiers and runners can run on fake legs" which implies, why not deer fly with fake antlers, but the author didn't make it clear enough for children to understand, it will be lost upon them. This reference can also be offending and could have been written much smoother and in a different way. Soldiers get prosthetics not to fit in, but to feel whole again. Prosthetic antlers for deer, in this case, just helps the deer to fit in but doesn't help them become whole or serve a bigger purpose. 

The author also mentions deer dropping their antlers because their fake ones grow loose. Deer drop their antlers so they can grow bigger ones, that should have been clear instead of implying that if you see antlers lying about that they are from deer pretending to be reindeer so they can fit in.  No one should have to pretend to be someone else to fit in. That's not a good message to tell our children. People should like you because of who you are not because you are like everybody else.

The author had good intentions with this story but it didn't run with the same smoothness as the others. It certainly didn't uphold the good values the author is trying to instill.  It is, however, pushing personal opinion instead of factual knowledge that children can actually benefit from.         

About Constance Corcoran Wilson:Constance Corcoran Wilson

Connie has published many works representing a variety of genres. Wilson’s first book (1989), published by Performance Learning Systems, Inc. of Emerson, New Jersey, Training the Teacher As A Champion, put forth the teaching techniques and principles taught by the nation’s largest teacher training firm. Written by Wilson in collaboration with PLS founder Joseph Hasenstaab, the book gives an insight into the effective teaching practices of successful teachers, those techniques included in that organization’s Project T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Effectiveness and Classroom Handling). Connie taught at the elementary level for 20 years, taught writing at 6 IA/IL colleges, and founded the second Sylvan Learning Center in the state of Iowa in 1986.
Since then, Connie has published 30 titles in a variety of genres, with the Christmas Cats series written with and for her now-six-year-old granddaughters, Ava and Elise. (Illustrations by Gary McCluskey) now entering its fourth installment.  The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats began the four-book series and the cats help other animals in distress while wearing a delightful series of silly hats.  The second book in the series, The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats, was a plea for all to remain unprejudiced (“Do not judge others without knowing, or prejudice you will be showing”) and the third book,The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats, stressed the need to honor all life as sacred. This year’s book , The Christmas Cats Fear for the Deer, encourages helping others and also strikes a blow for individuals who some might consider handicapped, but  who can succeed and excel if  simple accommodations are made for them.
Connie’s adult fare can be seen on Amazon or on her dedicated author site, www.ConnieCWilson.com.

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