A timeless classic narrated in warm and friendly tones by Bruce Bayley Johnson. A very old couple decide to get a feline friend for companionship, but when the old man finds a hill covered in "hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats", he can't help taking them all home. Unfortunately, the cats "eat each other up" when asked who is prettiest, and the only one left is a scrawny kitten who hid because she didn't think she was in the running. Given the right kind of love and nourishment, she blooms into a beauty. This is a sweet story, and children will love repeating the "millions of cats" refrain.
©1956 Robert Janssen; (P)1956 Weston Woods
An interesting lessons and morals. About over-population and resource consumption - cats destroy a lake and a field on their way, and a wife points out that they cannot sustain all of them right away. Also a lesson about pride and modesty when the small and ugly cat is the only one who survives the quarrel because she did not consider herself pretty. But later, when she gets adopted, bathed and fed, she eventually becomes the most nice and beautiful cat...
I think it's more for 2-4 year olds than 5-7. Nice story, profound lessons, nice performance with some light music and meowing effects. Our child was thrilled to listen to it after we were reading this book for weeks, it's nice to see a kid face to lit up when he or she recalls and thinks of the images from the book while listening to the audio.The ending could be considered grim but the book does not say that the cats ate each other, it's merely an assumption made by an old woman after the cats disappear. Comparing to the gory Gingerbread Man demise it is a more mysterious, movie-like outcome. Our 3-year old did not even blink on either book anyway. And who said all stories should have only happy stuff anyway? - life happens and animals eat each other all the time so it would be dishonest to pretend otherwise. Kids are much better at accepting life as it is without questioning it, they don't yet have an adult's desire to "fix the world" and impose their values into it.
The Weston Woods productions for young children are wonderful! Please add more of these and similar productions by Scholastic, etc. (classic picture books with narration) to Audible catalog.
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