Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
PreS-K-Children follow Nat the Cat as she tries to collect her friends, Hugo Hare and Billy Goat, for a picnic. When they decline because they're in bad moods, Nat sweetly pats them on their heads and continues along, humming a song. But on her way to the meadow, she wonders, "What sort of a picnic...will it be,/with nobody there to share it with me?" Now feeling gloomy herself, Nat stops at a lake and flops on the ground, uninterested in the contents of her picnic basket. Then Hugo and Billy appear, cheerfully explaining, "after you left the grump went away,/and it's all because of your smile...." The three friends munch on biscuits and cake,and they sing "Nat the Cat's Picnic Song." Words and music are included and may also be heard and downloaded at the author's website. Alborough's paintings, with rounded figures and spare backgrounds, feature soft colors and textures. The rhyming text is well paced, with choppy verse for the complaints and be-bop rhythms in the upbeat sections. Word choice encourages preschoolers' vocabulary development: "dingy," "dreary," "hamper," "brood."-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book Review
Cat Nat invites hare Hugo and goat Billy to share a picnic, but the friends feel too blue to join. Nat's cheerful smile motivates both to rally for the outing. The uninspiring rhymed tale is saccharine, although oversize color illustrations add some energy. British words may prove confusing (e.g., "hamper" for picnic basket). Sheet music is included; the related song may be accessed online. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Who wouldn't smile at a day of picnic fun? "Nat the Cat jumped out of bed / with a smile spread halfway around her head. / She packed a picnic snack to share / with her friends Billy Goat and Hugo Hare." However, when she knocks on Hugo's door, he's feeling gray to match the clouds. Sunny Nat is fine with that; she pats his head and goes on her way. At Billy Goat's house, she knocks again, but he's got a case of the grumpies. Nat pats his head too and continues on. Unbeknownst to Nat, her smiles and pats have cheered Hugo's grays away and banished Billy's grumpies. Unfortunately, Nat starts to feel down; what fun is a picnic alone? And the sky does look a bit gray. Then her two friends surprise her by showing up for the snack. They sing a song (music included) and have a grand game of Frisbee. Prolific British storybook author/illustrator/musician Alborough gives Nat a blue guitar, which she carries slung on her back in the big, bright, friendly gouache illustrations. Listeners will identify with Nat and friends and respond with tapping toes to the rhyme and the song. The song can be heard and downloaded via a provided URL; Billy and Hugo books (with songs) will follow. Nat's sunny smile is hard to resist. (Picture book. 3-7)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.