Allison's Book Bag

Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats by Constance Wilson

Posted on: December 20, 2013

Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats by Constance Wilson seems to have a fan base. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. The premise has promise and the illustrations are cute enough, but the story turns into a moralistic lecture to the readers.

The premise is that there are these Christmas cats who have been sent to chase Christmas rats. But, the cats shouldn’t chase the rats. These rats are clean, work hard in a lab, and help cure disease. For that reason, the rats shouldn’t be judged. Rather, they should be helped in their quest to have fun.

There could be a story somewhere in this idea. But it falls flat. I’m not sure how the rats got loose or why cats were supposed to chase them. I also dislike the portrayal of the lab rats as enjoying their role in science experiments. Yet I might have been able to overlook these issues, if there had been a full-fledged story. After this intriguing setup, however, readers are subjected to a page which reads:
“Open your mind,
Be very kind
Don’t be mean
Or make a scene.
If others judge and
Finger point,
Kick them right on
‘Outta of the joint.”

From here, Wilson skips straight from the opening scene to an unbelievable solution. The heart of a story, conflict and attempts at solutions, is ignored. As for the solution, after the cats round-up the rats, they return on a subsequent visit to see the rats enjoying the sun after a hard day’s work.

As for the illustrations, the brightly colored pages of rats and cats have high appeal. Unfortunately, the text pages have a cheap appearance with their stagnant border of Christmas lights. Perhaps as the Christmas Cat series gains acceptance, subsequent books can have a more luxurious design.

Constance Wilson created Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats as a way to encourage her grandchildren to become writers. While this a commendable goal, there are better examples out there of good picture books.

My rating? Leave it: Don’t even take it off the shelves. Not recommended.

How would you rate this book?

2 Responses to "Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats by Constance Wilson"

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