Kattenstoet and Six Books About Cats

Every three years during the month of May, people in Ypres, Belgium participate in a festival specifically dedicated to cats. Yes, to cats! (I love cats.) This festival is called Kattenstoet or Kattenfestival. On this day, people attend Kattenstoet parades, dress up in cat costumes, and toss stuffed toys cats in the air. Sounds like fun, yes? Keep reading to learn more about Kattenstoet and for a quick list of children's books about cats.

Learn about Kattenstoet (the festival of cats) and discover six children's books about cats. Picture books and chapter books about cats included.
Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

Even though the Kattenstoet is a fun and joyous day of celebration for the people of Ypres, it has a dark history that dates back to the Middle Ages. Ypres was a cloth manufacturing town that had a problem with too many mice. The mice were getting into everything and becoming a nuisance. Cats were brought into Ypres to combat this problem. Of course, these new cats did their job... they hunted and ate the mice. Soon the mouse population was under control.

The people of Ypres were glad to see the mice gone, but soon they had another problem... too many cats! To solve this problem, the local court jester did something unthinkable... he gathered as many stray cats as he could find and tossed the cats off the church belfry one by one. This marked the first Kaettenstoet celebration of all time. (I told you it was dark.)

Fortunately, if you were to go to Ypres and celebrate Kattenstoet today, you wouldn't see live cats tossed from the church belfry... relief! Instead, you would see someone dressed like a jester up in the belfry tossing stuffed toy cats to the children below. Meow!

People marching in a Kattenstoet parade. This person is dressed as a cat.

Children's Books About Cats

There are a lot of fun children's books about cats out there that have absolutely nothing to do with tossing cats off of belfries.... thank goodness! The following six cat books are high-interest and popular books among children and teachers. They have been around for a long time and could be considered 'classics' by some people. If you know about other cat books that children may enjoy, please let us know in the comments below! 

A collection of stuffed cats thrown during Kattenstoet

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff

🐱 Author's Summary: If you give a cat a cupcake, he'll ask for some sprinkles to go with it. When you give him the sprinkles, he might spill some on the floor. Cleaning up will make him hot, so you'll give him a bathing suit...

Written in the tradition of the bestselling If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond's If You Give a Cat a Cupcake will show everyone that Cat is where it's at!

🐱 Author: Laura Numeroff
🐱 Illustrator: Felicia Bond
🐱 Publisher: HarperCollins
🐱 Year: 2008
🐱 Pages: 32

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff

Splat the Cat by Rob Scotten

🐱 Author's Summary: It's Splat's first day of school, and he's worried. What if he doesn't make any new friends? Nervous kitties wondering about friends and school will enjoy laughing along with Splat the Cat!

Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunchbox. The teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons.

But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats... they chase mice... Splat's worried again. Maybe now he'll lose all his friends, old and new! Just in time, wise Mrs. Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson. Maybe Cat School is going to be okay after all!

🐱 TitleSplat the Cat
🐱 Author: Rob Scotten
🐱 Illustrator: Rob Scotten
🐱 Publisher: HarperCollins
🐱 Year: 2008
🐱 Pages: 40

Cover: Splat the Cat by Rob Scotten

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

🐱 Author Summary: Skippyjon Jones is no ordinary kitten. Oh, no. . . .He's actually El Skippito, a great sword fighter ready to battle banditos the world over! With a little imagination and a whole lot of fun, this frisky cat dons a mask and cape and takes on a bad bumble-beeto to save the day. And along the way, he'll be sure to steal young readers' hearts, yes indeed-o!

My name is Skippito Friskito.
I fear not a single bandito.
My manners are mellow,
I'm sweet like the Jell-O,
I get the job done, yes indeed-o.

🐱 TitleSkippyjon Jones
🐱 Author: Judy Schachtner
🐱 Illustrator: Judy Schachnerer
🐱 Publisher: Puffin Books
🐱 Year: 2005
🐱 Pages: 32

Cover Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

🐱 Author's Summary: Pete the Cat goes walking down the street wearing his brand-new white shoes. Along the way, his shoes change from white to red to blue to brown to WET as he steps in piles of strawberries, blueberries, and other big messes!

But no matter what color his shoes are, Pete keeps movin' and groovin' and singing his song...because it's all good. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes asks the reader questions about the colors of different foods and objects—kids love to interact with the story.

🐱 Author: Eric Litwin
🐱 Illustrator: James Dean
🐱 Publisher: HarperCollins
🐱 Year: 2010
🐱 Pages: 40

Cover: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup

🐱 Author's Summary: Once there was a cat who lived all alone. He ate on his own. He slept on his own. He spent every day alone. Poor Cat! The other kitties never ask him to play. He just seems so... grumpy. Then, one night, in a terrible rainstorm, everything changes: Grumpy Cat hears a plaintive meow and finds a drenched little kitten taking shelter between his paws. And no matter what Grumpy Cat does, she's determined to stick by him. Endearing art, expressive characters, and gentle storytelling from Britta Teckentrup (Big Smelly Bear) send children the comforting message that there's a special friend for everyone.

🐱 Title: Grumpy Cat
🐱 Author: Britta Teckentrup
🐱 Publisher: Boxer Books
🐱 Year: 2008 ***may be out of print***
🐱 Pages: 32

Cover: Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup

Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel

🐱 Author's Summary: Pet owners beware! Bad Kitty really needs a bath, and she is forced to take one in this hysterical illustrated how-to for young readers. The following are some items you will need for Kitty's bath: one bathtub, plenty of water, dry towels, a suit of armor, a letter to your loved ones, clean underwear (because stressful situations can cause "accidents"), an ambulance in your driveway with the engine running, and, oh, yeah, you'll also need Kitty . . . but good luck with that! Kitty is at her worst in this riotous how-to guide filled with bad smells, cautionary tales of horror, and hopefully by the end . . . some soap.

🐱 TitleBad Kitty Gets a Bath
🐱 Author: Nick Bruel
🐱 Illustrator: Nick Bruel
🐱 Publisher: Square Fish
🐱 Year: 2009
🐱 Pages: 144

Cover: Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel

Did you enjoy this blog post about Kattenstoet and the list of children's books? If so, check out these blog posts for more book lists:

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