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Children's Fiction Cats

Up Cat

by (author) Hazel Hutchins

illustrated by Fanny

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2012
Recommended Age
2 to 4
Recommended Grade
p to k
  • Board book

    Publish Date
    Feb 2012
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A cat can get tangled up in all kinds of fun and mischief between wake-up time and nap time. Follow along with the playful text as Cat laps up milk, messes up the house, gets up to no good, stands up to a visiting dog, and finally curls up for a nap in the sun.

The expressive, energetic illustrations against simple backgrounds mirror the spare but rhythmic text that teaches about “up” actions while leading the reader through a day in the life of a cat.

Together with Up Dog, this board book will soon be a favorite of toddlers and preschoolers who adore animals.

About the authors


Hazel Hutckins est l'auteure de plus de 30 livres pour enfants, y compris l'album illustré primé Mattland, une œuvre qui est aussi illustrée par Duan Petricic. Hazel vit à Canmore, en Alberta.


After many years of juggling writing, raising her children, and making a home with her now deceased husband, Hazel spends her days writing full time. Winner of Writer's Guild of Alberta Award for Children's Literature, she has written children's short fiction for Chirp, Chickadee, and Cricket.
When answering where the inspiration for A Second is a Hiccup came from, Hazel comments, "I decided to see if I could find other ways to describe time. When the writing began to flow in poetic form - and when I came up with the engaging title line A Second is a Hiccup - I knew I had begun a labor of love. The book went through many one version I actually brought in centuries and eons! Good grief! But it finally returned to exactly what it should be...immediate, simple and close-to-home. It is my sincere hope that children of all types will enjoy finding and celebrating, among the pages, the many ways they spend their time."

Hazel Hutchins' profile page

Fanny has two passions in life: drawing and sewing. After completing studies in visual arts and graphic design, she worked as a costume designer and also created marionettes for children's puppet theater. She now devotes herself to illustrating children's books.

Fanny's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“This is a great little board book . . . educational too.”

Creative Madness Mama, 04/12/12

“Charmingly appropriate is the idea that a board book . . . would be created around one of the first words that toddlers learn—up.”

Canadian Children’s Book News, Summer/12

“Every page is sure to delight any child or cat lover, but it's also a great way to introduce very young children to the wide variety of ways that language can be used.”

Cozy Little Book Journal, 11/22/12

“Simple words used in simple sentences made reading this one with my 5 year old fun and educational too.”

Red House Books, 05/08/12

“For toddlers just learning to speak, Up Dog and Up Cat are a wonderful introduction to the rich ‘strangeness’ of the English language.”

CM Reviews, 04/12

“The illustrations are very cute and depict the story well.”

Columbia Review Group, Washington Library Media Association, 09/12

Librarian Reviews

Up Cat

Charmingly appropriate is the idea that a board book, or in this case two, would be created around one of the first words that toddlers learn — up.

Up Dog follows Dog through a straightforward, yet eventful, kind of day. Hazel Hutchins uses 40 words to describe how Dog digs up a bone in the yard and then manages to muddy up the entire house. The dog is penned up while the owner cleans up, wipes up and hangs up the washing to dry. At this point, Dog is free to race up and back into the house. After Dog, too, is cleaned, the story ends with it enfolded in its owner’s loving arms. Eyes closed, Dog snuggles up soundly.

While Hutchins has accomplished the almost impossible task of laying out a complete story in so few words, Quebec illustrator Fanny has also performed the impressive task of creating a pictorial foundation that allows the story to flow smoothly without seeming to jump or jar. Her illustrations, with their bright but simple backgrounds, pair perfectly with the text, appealing to young readers and also ensuring that key elements pop directly into focus.

In both Up Cat and Up Dog, the expressions on the animals’ faces contribute much to the story. In one particularly evocative illustration, Dog perks up, displaying puppy-dog eyes and a wagging tail that foreshadow the happy ending that is certain to follow. In a similar manner, Cat’s expressions reveal the further meanings behind its actions, such as when Cat is being haughty or sneakily “up to no good.” Dog even makes a brief appearance in the pictures for Up Cat, sneaking up on Cat as it is washing up and prompting Cat to “puff up” with an arched back and wide eyes.

Up Cat may not involve as much drama as Dog’s story, but perhaps this is in keeping with the protagonist’s character. Cat moves through its day, lapping up milk, leaping up on furniture and curling up in the sun. It does get into trouble, ripping up a ball of yarn and accidentally finding itself scrunched up in a box, but it is eventually lifted up onto a windowsill and out of harm’s way. However, the same story arc or connection between cause and effect doesn’t feel as apparent in this book.

While these books are simple enough to engage audiences as young as two, they are also appropriate for beginning readers in Kindergarten. Up is one of the first words young children say and it is also an appropriate first word for them to read. These companion books are sure to appeal to both “cat people” and “dog people” alike.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2012. Volume 35 No. 3.

Up Cat

In this delightfully illustrated board book, which teaches preschoolers phrases with the word “up,” a cat gets tangled up in all kinds of fun and mischief until he finally curls up for a nap in the sun.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

Other titles by Hazel Hutchins

Other titles by Fanny