A black cat explores the world of daylight alone. A white cat explores the world of night-time alone. Each is solitary but would like a friend to share their adventures and discoveries. When curiosity tempts them to venture into unfamiliar territory their once-parallel worlds coincide, they meet, and decide to explore together.
The simple, engaging illustrations are a delight, playfully exploiting the black and white theme in a ‘mirror’ pattern.
Read the book aloud
Share the story
This is a book told in words and pictures. As you read the story aloud to your child, look at the pictures together, talking about what you notice. Pause reading just before the final spread, leaving space for children to predict what they think the kittens will look like. Then slowly turn the page and reveal!
Take turns reading the story aloud, firstly with you reading the black cat’s words and then your child reading the repeated text as the white cat.
Talk about the story
Talk together about what interests you about the book and what it means to you. Talk about what your responses were to the appearance of the kittens. Did this match your predictions? How are the night and day worlds of the cats similar or different from your child’s experience?
Things to make and do
Make a collage
Children can gather white and black paper, pens, chalk and a range of other materials, to create a collage picture of night or day (or both). They can use the book as a starting point, or create a new picture using their own experience or imagination. Begin by talking together about what you see and do during the day and at night.
Write the story
Children can tell, then write, their own story based on the collage picture they have made (or you can write down their words for them). You can read it aloud together, and children can make any changes needed to communicate what they want to ‘say’.
Make shadow puppets
Draw an outline and carefully cut out a cat shape from thick paper. Stick the cut out cat shape on to a lolly stick. Then, using the leftover piece of paper, cut around the cut-out of the cat (leaving about 1 cm outline). Cover this with tracing paper or clear plastic eg cellophane, and stick this to another lolly stick. Switch on a table lamp, close the blinds or curtains, and use the stick puppets and any other chosen objects to make a shadow puppet play on the wall. Children can retell the story or make up their own. Alternatively, use a blank ipad screen as a ‘stage’ for the shadow play.
Make a book
Make a book using black and white paper cut outs and black white felt pens. It can be the story of another ‘black cat, white cat’ adventure or about children’s own experience.
Find out more
Find more books by this author:
The Cat Book
The Dog Book
Now You See Me, Now You Don’t
Find more ideas here
Find more books about cats:
Cat in the Hat, by Dr Seuss
Cat is Sleepy, by Satoshi Kitamura
Ginger, by Charlotte Voake
Mog, the Forgetful Cat, by Judith Kerr
My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes, by Eve Sutton
Orlando, Marmalade Cat, by Kathleen Hale
Six Dinner Sid, by Inga Moore
Slinky Malinki, by Lynley Dodd
The Cat on the Mat, by Brian Wildsmith