Bedtime Books to Read to Your Cat (Or Child!)

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Laura Diaz de Arce

Staff Writer

Raised in a suburb built over a swamp, Laura Diaz de Arce is a South Florida writer with a penchant for long-winded explanations and a nasty reading habit she can't seem to kick. Her other quirks include sudden exclamations in Spanish and talking to cats. Laura has a Master's in Literature, which is currently lost somewhere in her office closet. She is the author of "Monstrosity: Tales of Transformation" and "Mask of the Nobleman." You can find her poorly spelled tweets and blurry photos on Twitter and Instagram @QuetaAuthor.

My generation (Gen Y or Millennial) is decidedly not as obsessed as most recent past generations with the whole “procreation” thing. Personally, my husband and I are not too interested in having what you call “a child” because it may cut into our Netflix binging time. But what we do have is a cat! And that precious bundle of fur and disdain is our pride and joy. No, I won’t have to go to PTA meetings or Little League for our furbaby, but I can still take the time to read Mr. Hieronymus Velveteen Snoot III a bedtime story. These are some children’s books about cats your own little Meow Meows may enjoy. And hey, even the actual flesh of your flesh will enjoy them too (probably not dogs though).

When Gorilla Goes Walking by Nikki Grimes illustrated by Shane Evans

There is nothing not to love about Gorilla the cat, from the love of his human to his tail-less rump. Grimes’s sweet story about a cat learning to grow in his relationships is a great example for the felines, or children, in your life. Plus, Gorilla is an AMAZING name for a cat.

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

The Bad Kitty books are very popular with the little ones at my Library. What’s not to love about a miserable mean cat that kind of hates everything until he gets his way? Bad Kitty is a force of destruction, but other times very loving and sweet. And hey, he also teaches the alphabet in a fun way, despite providing a questionable morality lesson. The books are also an expansive series, because Bad Kitty is always getting himself into new adventures.

Mr. Pusskins, A Love Story by Sam Lloyd

I brought this book home based on the cover art alone and no, the book does not disappoint! Again, we have a grumpy and fed-up cat who has just had it with the human in his life (if you’re sensing a theme you’re correct). And yes, this is just the first of the series because there’s more of Mr. Pusskins to love, especially as he learns to love other people (and pets) back.

Chato’s Kitchen by Gary Soto and Susan Guevera

One of the few things more endearing than an upset and angry cat is a slick one. Soto’s Chato is one cool, if a bit devious cat, hatching a plan to deal with his new neighbors. While Chato and his friend Novio Boy talk a good game, they can turn into quite the scaredy cats when confronted. But there’s more to this book than Chato! Soto’s lyrical delivery makes this a bit like reading a jazz song and the use of Spanish is wonderfully organic. Whether or not Chato learns his lesson though isn’t fully clear in subsequent books, but his tough-guy persona is what we love about him.

The Good Luck Cat by Joy Harjo, Illustrated by Paul Lee

Woogie is one resilient cat, who brings good luck when you pet her. But one day she disappears, leaving her owner frightened and us on the end of our seats. I’ll let you know now, this book is simply beautiful. Harjo’s use of metaphor and the simplicity with which she expresses love between a human and her pet is exquisite. Then, paired with Paul Lee’s lush illustrations, the book is a visual feast. It’s heart-wrenching and earnest and will speak to anyone who has had a cat in their life.

For a proper cat bedtime ritual make sure to give lots of pets while you read. Oh, and don’t let them get any ideas from Chato or Bad Kitty. This probably good advice for dealing with your kids too.