Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WNDB- The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof

My daughter claims that I am always ahead of the trend curve, and she may be right. While the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Movement started in May of 2013, I was on it in January of that year with World Wednesday. Charlotte's Library was touting culturally diverse fantasy books even before then!

So I'm tickled that today is Multicultural Children's Book Day. Here is some information from Susan Raab Associates:

January 27th is Multicultural Children's Book Day. We're working with the founders of Multicultural Children's Book Day, who have in the past few years, mounted an incredibly successful initiative -- 26 million impressions last year after a 2014 launch -- to get more multicultural books into schools and to the attention of parents and kids.

I believe we're at a moment where teaching our kids about people unlike themselves is more critical than ever.  MCBD uses a social media marketing model in conjunction with bloggers that puts these books in front of many millions of people.

Here's how media gets involved:
And, new this year, anyone who'd like to give a shout out about their favorite two multicultural books can do so, and MCBD will do a blog post with the authors/books naming the gift-giver:

Teachers can get free books:
and everyone can discover diversity books about many cultures:

It's still hard to find diverse books. This was the review I had scheduled for today-- somehow missed the boat on having a diverse book sent to me. It's been that kind of winter. But, hey! Dutch author!

Schmidt, Annie. M. The Cat Who Came in off the Roof
January 19th 2016 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
(first published 1970 in Dutch)
Copy provided by publisher

Mr. Tibble is an ineffectual news reporter who has a tendency to write boring things and is in danger of losing his job. After he saves a red headed woman from a tree (where she has climbed because a dog frightened her), he is surprised that she shows up on his roof! Minou is wet and cold, and only wants to sleep in a box in Tibble's apartment and claims to be a cat! Having eaten something from the garbage of a scientific institute next door to her home seems to have changed Minou from a cat to a very cat-like human! Landlady Mrs. Van Dam is a bit suspicious, but soon Minou is helping Tibble with his articles. He needs something really exciting, and when Minou and her cat network uncover secrets about a local personality's treatment of animals, he knows that he has the article that will save him. With the help of a neighbor girl, Bibi, the local cats, and the irrepressible Minou, Tibble finds a new purpose in life, and Minou finds a new life altogether. 

I had never heard of Annie M. Schmidt, so it is interesting to see that such a prominent, and yet unknown, Dutch author's works have made their way to the US. It would be very interesting to see other international books, especially from South American and African countries. This is definitely a fantasy book, but with many interesting details about life in a Dutch town. 

Since this was originally published in 1970, the style is somewhat different from middle grade literature today, but the updated cover is very attractive.  Elementary school readers who are fond of cats, or older animal tales like Sharp's The Rescuers, will enjoy this classic story, as will adults who are searching for international literature.  


  1. I love it when I read something that takes me into a different culture. Not all kids do though. They want something familiar. I think it's a tricky balance to give them something broaches both worlds.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing about Multicultural Children's Book Day Ms. YingLing! We still have 300 books that we want to give to teachers for their classroom library.

  3. Thank you so much for your support Ms. YingLing!

  4. it's a cute book, I liked it as well. Thanks!


  5. thanks for the mention!