The cat who couldn't count by Sharon Hosford'The Cat who couldn’t Count' by Sharon Hosford is a simple story aimed at young readers.  On one page, the story is written in a way that will help to extend the child’s vocabulary, while the stunning illustrations (by Tara Julia Laubach) contribute to the development of the child’s imagination. On each alternate page, under the picture, is a simpler two-line version of the story, which can be read by young readers in a ‘shared reading’ situation, as an alternative version when the adult is in a hurry, or by a child on their own.

The Cat who couldn’t Count focuses on Marmalade, the kitten, one of four born to Pushkin.  Pushkin takes the other three kittens to a different part of the family’s farm where she can bring up the kittens in peace without the interference of the three children of the story.  There is the hidden lesson that kittens (and all young) should not be handled the minute they’re born because the mother can reject them.  At the time, Pushkin was removing her kittens, one of the children was holding Marmalade and it is assumed that Pushkin just ‘forgot’ she had a fourth kitten.

There is a frantic rush to find where Pushkin has taken up residence to reunite Marmalade with her siblings because bread soaked in milk is not an ideal thing to be feeding a day-old kitten.

Dad saves the day by finding Pushkin’s new hide-away and Marmalade is gently placed next to her brothers and sister who are suckling.  Marmalade joins in hungrily and all is well.

This is a nice little book with the potential for parents to discuss with their children the rights and wrongs of looking after pets.  On a more superficial level, Tara’s illustrations add a vibrancy to the simplified text and as cats are now the UK’s #1 pet (overtaking dogs) most people will enjoy the story.

Out in paperback, it was published on 28th May 2018, priced £8.99 by Matador.  The ISBN number is: 9781788033350.  It will be available from the usual places: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Waterstones and all good book stores and direct from


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