Ketzel, the Cat who Composed

Music is in the ear of the beholder. Today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday pick is for all you cat lovers. Give your cat/s something to aspire to.

Title: Ketzel, the Cat who ComposedIMG_0752
Written by: Lesléa Newman
Illustrated by: Amy June Bates
Candlewick Press, 2015, fiction based on a true story, 40 pages
Suitable for ages: 5-8
Lexile: 730L
Themes/topics: cats, music, friendship

Opening: Moshe Cotel lived in the middle of a noisy building in the middle of a noisy street in the middle of a noisy city. But Moshe didn’t mind. Everything he heard was music to his ears.    

Brief synopsis: Moshe Cotel, a composer, is inspired by the sounds around him. One day, he hears a sound he’s never heard before and discovers a kitten. He takes it home and together they make beautiful music. When Moshe is faced with a musical challenge, the kitten provides more than inspiration.

Activities and Resources:

  • “Piece for Piano: Four Paws”
  • Discuss the pros and cons of different pets.
  • Writing prompt: Write about your pet’s secret talent.
  • Do a listening experiment. First listen outside yourself for 15 seconds. Write down what you hear. Then listen inside yourself for 15 seconds. Again write it down. What kinds of things did you hear? How were the inside and outside different?
  • Use one of the sounds you heard to compose a line of music.

Why I like this book:  People who like music and cats will love this gentle tale of a cross-species friendship. The beauty of the book is in being aware and open to what it around you. If you’re listening, you might discover something unexpected.
Moshe says to listen inside yourself and outside yourself. Do some of us spend too much time in one place?

Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.


3 thoughts on “Ketzel, the Cat who Composed

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