Monday, November 7, 2022

MEOW! The Truth About Cats a STEM Picture Book Review, Mini-Author Interview, and Giveaway!

 Last May I reviewed Annette Whipple's fourth book in the "Truth About Series," RIBBIT! Reycraft Books has just released the fifth book in the series, MEOW! I'm delighted to share some snippets and a brief interview with author, Annette Whipple


In keeping with the kid-friendly format that Annette began with SCURRY! The Truth About Spiders, MEOW! answers the questions kids ask most about cats. Written for the 7-10-year-old crowd, these questions form the backbone of the book. Questions like, "Do cats need people?" (obviously, we know people need cats);  "How do cats communicate? (the reader learns the difference between meow, hiss, and believe it or not--a growl!); and "How do cats land on their paws?" (can you believe their ears are part of their acrobatic skills?) will keep kids turning the pages. The photographs, information, and kitty cartoons are also very engaging. 

In this sample page, did you notice "Kitty Corner?" Different kitties take turns illustrating the information shown on each page. For example, the siamese cat above says, "If I fit, I sit! My whiskers told me this box is the purr-fect size."

Here are a few cat facts I learned:

  • At birth, cats don't breathe until their mothers lick them.
  • A cat's whiskers can detect temperature, feel vibrations, and help them "see" in the dark.
  • The position of a cat's tail will tell you how he is feeling.
  • A female cat chooses a male as a mate who has the strongest odor. (do you think that works with people?)
  • A cat's tongue is rough because of curved barbs called papillae. This enables it to can clean dirt and dander from its fur and skin.


True to Annette's passion for inspiring curiosity in children, the back matter includes common cat patterns, pictures of common varieties, fascinating feline facts, an experiment, a glossary, and helpful websites. The hardback's cover opens up to become a poster. Teachers, librarians, and home school educators make sure you check out the free resources on Annette's website.


CAROL: Why cats? Was it your idea or Reycraft’s?

ANNETTE: I brought the idea of writing The Truth About...wild cats, but Reycraft got very excited about domestic cats. Plus, readers have been asking about cats since Woof! The Truth About Dogs came out!

CAROL: Did you have any input on the terrific photographs?

ANNETTE: The designer chooses the photographs for the books. For MEOW, I didn't share many art notes, and didn't need any for the photographs. I wanted to make sure the illustration on page 25 wasn't going to be off-putting to any reader since the cat caught a mouse. For the science experiment, I took a picture of my chart so the designer could include something similar. I also showed an example of the cat population diagram that I wanted included in the back matter.

CAROL: I know you’re a cat lover—has this been a life long addiction or are cats new additions to your family?

ANNETTE: I had pet cats as a kid...and my husband and I have almost always had at least one pet cat. Now we have Kiwi and Soka!

CAROL: What did you learn that surprised you?

ANNETTE: A lot! I learned the importance of socializing kittens very early, tail communication, and how cats can show affection in surprising ways. I also learned my Kiwi kitty is right-pawed!

CAROL: What’s next? 

ANNETTE: Keep your eye out for Chomp! The Truth About Sharks for the next book in this series from Reycraft. I also have Quirky Critter Devotions: 52 Wild Wonders for Kids releasing in 2024 with Tyndale. 

Annette is holding two copies of her book. The hardback book has two covers: 
one is under the hardback's book jacket.

Check out this trailer from Reycraft to learn about the entire series! 


Leave a comment with your name and email address by November 10. If you want to send me an email instead of leaving your email on the blog, that is fine. This week, if you are new to my blog (or decide to subscribe) you will get an extra chance to win MEOW! If you are a teacher, librarian, or home school educator, you will get an additional chance. U.S. addresses only. 


Unknown said...

I want to get the whole series! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Tammi Truax

NF School Library
1 Franklin Dr
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Carol Baldwin said...

That's great Tammi. Each one of the books is beautiful and informative. Annette will be excited to hear of your interest!

Trish said...

The whole series look great! I’m a cat lover and have one granddaughter who is also so we would really enjoy this one!

Unknown said...

Now I want to see the illustration on page 25 :)
My five-year-old grand girl would love this!
Thanks for posting carol!
Hewi Mason said...

This looks great! My grandkids are kitty lovers. It would be a purrr-fect for the holidays

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Trish, Hewi, and Antoinette. You're all in!

Storylady said...

Oh, I really want that amazing book--for me and for my grandchildren. I live with 2 cats and would also love to share with them. Thanks for making it a giveaway.

Carol Baldwin said...

That's so funny, Gwen--that you want to share the book with your cats!!! I put your name into the hat.

Marci said...

Annette's books are so fantastic and this one is supurrr fantastic. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) Congrats to Annette on another well done book! Thanks for sharing, Carol! I loved the interview.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Marci. Yes, her books are purrfect!!

Nikki Shen said...

I love Annette's 'The Truth About..." series. I want to collect them all for my daughter's homeschool library.

Thanks for the opportunity!

Nikki Shen said...

I love Annette's 'The Truth About..." series. I want to collect them all for my 4yo daughter's library.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Nikki! I'll add your name to the list. IF you decide to subscribe to my blog I'll enter your name twice!

Danielle H. said...

I have Scurry! The Truth about Spiders and it's fascinating. I can't wait to read more of this author's books too.

Annette Whipple said...

Oh, I love reading all of these comments! I know you all want to win, but don't forget what a resource your local library can be! Request they purchase the book if you haven't already asked your local bookstore to get a copy. Of course, if you're the winner, you can give one of the copies away, too! That's a win-win!

Thank you for your interest in The Truth About series!

Carol Baldwin said...

That's a very good reminder, Annette! I'm glad you're enjoying the comments!

Carol Baldwin said...

Your name goes in the hat, Danielle!

Terri DeGezelle Michels said...

I read this post twice, there was so much to learn. thank you.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Terri. I'm glad you found it informative and you enjoyed it!

Jilanne Hoffmann said...

Well, as someone who grew up on a farm where there was no money for vet care for cats, I once had 35 cats and kittens. As an adult, I'm a big fan of spaying and neutering. But I didn't know that whiskers can detect temperature. How cool is that?!

Carol Baldwin said...

35 Cats! That is amazing! I think you'd like this book, Jilanne.

Carol Baldwin said...

Nikki, thanks for letting me know that you are a homeschool mom. Your name goes in twice!

Rosie Russell said...

Would love a copy of this book! So interesting. :)

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Rosie. YOu're in!

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