The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read

Illustrated by Kate Berube.

Verne with fish card and name

Nick and his cats, Verne and Stevenson, do everything together. Except read.
Until Nick has an idea: he’ll teach them to read, too! But reading doesn’t come easily for everyone…

Stevenson with name

In this celebration of reading, Nick and his cats learn that finding just the right book can sometimes make all the difference.


Available from:


star “A marvelous debut… Sometimes it takes the right nudge to fall in love with books.” Publishers Weekly starred review

“Manley’s conversational text flows smoothly…. Berube’s charmingly childlike art … captures the cats’ personalities perfectly and creates a cozy, everyday world with just enough amusing details to reward repeat readings. Young listeners of all stripes (and species) will enjoy this warmhearted celebration of literacy and imagination.” Kirkus Reviews

“A satisfying combination of original storytelling and amusing, affectionate artwork.” Booklist

star “This quirky tale filled with subtle humor makes a fun read-aloud, especially for cat lovers, literacy lovers, or anyone looking for a great story.” School Library Journal starred review

Cat reading buddy

“…first-time picture book author Curtis Manley delivers an engaging story that blends seamlessly with Kate Berube’s beguiling drawings. The book is sure to become a read-aloud favorite.” BookPage

“Everyone (even cats) learn to read in their own way and in their own time. Sometimes it just takes one special book to get a beginning reader hooked on reading for life.” Sturdy for Common Things blog—with a craft to make a cat reading buddy!


Resources for Parents, Teachers, and Librarians

Support your beginning reader by downloading this book’s FREE early literacy activity sheet from the CLEL 2017 Bell Picture Book Awards. It discusses how children can practice “reading” before they can read; how they can act out stories; and how nursery rhymes help build word, reading, and memorization skills.


My First Picture Book Q&A Karlin Gray blog, March 2017