Tom's Tweet by Jill Esbaum, Dan Santat

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Tom’s Tweet

For today’s Perfect Picture Book, I’ve chosen a new release guaranteed to charm the whiskers off even the crankiest kid. After all, it’s pretty hard to resist a worm-chewing cat (ew!)…

Tom’s Tweet

Tom’s Tweet by Jill Esbaum, Dan Santat

Written by: Jill Esbaum
Illustrated by:  Dan  Santat
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (November 8, 2011)
Genre: Picture Book/Fiction
Ages: 5+
Themes/Topics: Animals, Unlikely Friendship, Emotions, Unconditional Love, Acceptance

Opening and Brief Synopsis:
While hunting one morning, right after a storm,
Tom heard an inquisitive “Tweet?”
And there, to his left,
in the rain-dewy grass,
was a flip-flapping, fluttery…
treat!

Hello, breakfast!

Tom just wants to have a snack and take a nap…but when he meets a lost and lonely “tweet,” his world turns upside-down. Esbaum’s story shows us how an enemy turns into a reluctant friend, with plenty of hi-jinks (the cat eats worms! the cat builds a nest!) to sustain interest, and a fun final twist that makes readers say “Awwww….”

Tom's Tweet by Jill Esbaum, Dan Santat
Tom’s Tweet by Jill Esbaum and Dan Santat

Links to Resources:
This book is so new that it seems no one’s had a chance to devise any activities for it yet. As I mention below, the illustrations are so expressive that the book lends itself wonderfully to a discussion of different emotions. Try these quick activities:

  • Point to each illustration of Tom and ask the child what the cat is feeling.
  • Give the child a hand mirror. Call out different emotions and have the child make a face for each one. This usually leads to the giggles.

Why I Like This Book:  I’ve always liked a good tough-guy-turned-softy story, and Tom’s Tweet is one of the cutest I’ve seen. The silly story is told in rollicking rhyme that keeps the book moving along at a good pace, and the slick and funny illustrations are a hoot. Santat has done a fantastic job of capturing every emotion known to cat, and Tom’s facial expressions add a whole new level to the story.

Book Trailer (complete with piano-playing cat):

Perfect Picture Book Fridays is a shared weekly event started by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill. You can find the entire list of recommended picture books on the Perfect Picture Books page on her blog.