Sunday, February 10, 2019

Two delightful young children's books: The Secret Cat by Katarina Strömgård & A Story That Grows by Gilles Bacheiet [Review & Giveaway]

A Story That Grows by Gilles Bachelet

My thoughts:  Detailed, whimsical illustrations in bold primary colors punctuating beautiful pastels are set on a stark white background offering opportunity to grasp every detail the artist has painstakingly included in the delightful story.

We are taken through an menagerie of critters (including a real human Daddy) tucking little ones into bed and reading the beloved bedtime story. And after you've read the short text on a couple of two-page spreads, it dawns upon you that there is a pattern being set forth. The tiny stuffed critter the child lovingly holds on one page becomes the "parent" on the next page.

And then you see that the author has taken you through a host of just what stories are meant to do..... grows, melts (we've all read something that just melted our hearts), turns topsy-turvy, lasts. Some books go on and on and last and last. Some just fly by. The same is true of bedtime stories.

I like the statement on the back cover...."No evening is complete without a bedtime story. And there are as many different stories as there are moms, and dads, and kids."

I recommend this  book.

About the book: A whimsical bedtime book perfect for sharing

Reading stories is a cherished bedtime ritual, a special moment that parents savor with their children—no matter what their species! In this funny yet tender book, a stork reads to her chick in their rooftop nest, a walrus tucks his calf into an igloo cradle, and an alien tells his child a story in zero gravity.

Both parents and children will fall in love with the adorable cast of characters in this charming book.

The Secret Cat by Katarina Strömgård

My thoughts:  Many children have imaginary friends and this little girl has an imaginary pet - a cat. She is not allowed to have one so one appears behind the wallpaper of her bedroom and then emerges. She is a Secret Cat and so is different. So secret that she is there but she is not visible to anyone but the child.

The child and secret cat set forth on a nighttime journey of the neighborhood and the cat grows, and grows, and becomes her fierce protector.

I really like the book. I can see the story of an imaginary pet or imaginary playmate being there for a child since it is a mechanism many children employ for various reasons - loneliness, boredom, need. And I can see it as a way that children cope with a variety of issues. But this is a children's book. So while I really like it - story and beautiful art - I think parents should read it before purchasing it.

If your child has nightmares, this might be problematic. Or if handled correctly, it might be a tool to help the child. Again, I really like the book. I wouldn't hesitate to read it to my children if it had been available while they were growing up. (And one of mine did have an imaginary friend.)

There is nothing really scary even though there is another secret pet that is a meanie but this child's secret cat overcomes the "evil" pet so this is good.

I recommend with consideration.

About the book: An imaginative book for anyone who’s ever wanted a pet

Lucy wants a pet more than anything, even though her mom always says no. But one night, Lucy hears a scratching sound from behind her wallpaper, and a ghostly cat named Silvring appears. Silvring takes Lucy on an adventure and introduces her to a world filled with secret pets just like hers. Not all the secret pets are as friendly as Silvring, though.

Filled with magical realism, this beautiful book will resonate with animal lovers of all ages.

Both Books for 1 Winner.
Begins February 11
Ends March 10 at 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of each book to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are solely mine and are freely given. Giveaway copies are provided and shipped directly to the winner by Eerdman Publishing.


  1. "(1) What young readers book would you like to have?" "Plume."

    "(2) What Young Readers book would you like to see reviewed here on Chat With Vera?" "When a Wolf Is Hungry."

  2. I like the book No Place Like Home.

  3. I would like to have Two Little Birds. I would like to see Animal Beauty reviewed

  4. Mrs. White Rabbit looks like it would be a good book.

  5. I’d love to have In Search of the Little Prince for my granddaughter.

  6. 1) The Rabbit and the Shadow
    2) Anna's Heaven

  7. I'd like to see award winners.

    1. The Right Word
    2. Friends of Liberty


  9. 1) What young readers book would you like to have?
    The Blue Hour By Isabelle Simler

    (2) What Young Readers book would you like to see reviewed here on Chat With Vera?
    Leather Shoe Charlie By Anna & Elena Balbusso, Gyeong-Hwa Kim

  10. I would like to have The Song of Francis and the Animals. I would like to see a review of Animals of the Bible for Young Children.


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