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When Martha's Away by Bruce Ingman

When Martha's Away

by Bruce Ingman

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This book is about a cat named Lionel who tells about his daily routine while his owner Martha is away at school. He reads the newspaper, works out, paints portraits for the neighbor cat, cooks for himself, watches cartoons, calls his cousin in Atlantic City, shops from Flash Harry's suitcase of goodies, naps, listens to the radio, plays the piano for cats that come from far and near, plays with the cat across the road, and sometimes takes the car for a spin around Martha's room.

Personal Reaction:
This story is one of my favorites. I love how the cat seems so sarcastic when telling about his daily routine. The kids always get a good laugh out of the book too. It's a great way to get kids to use their imagination.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. In the classroom, children can paint the cat doing something they like to do.
2. This can also be used for creative writing. Children can use their imagination to come with their own story for the cat. ( )
  angela.knox | Oct 24, 2014 |
I really really enjoyed this story. I just grabbed it off the shelf at the library and ended up loving it. The story is told by a cat named Lionel who describes what his day is like while his owner Martha is away at school. The central message of the story is just how busy Lionel is during the day when Martha is gone. Lionel describes an incredibly busy day where he cooks himself salmon for lunch, watches cartoons, takes a nap, listens to the radio, and gives an amazing piano performance to name a few. I liked this story for a few reasons. First, the illustrator provides great images of Lionel doing all these tasks that children are sure to enjoy. Secondly, it's incredibly silly and far-fetched which I think will really draw young readers in. If I was reading this to a group of first graders I'm sure they would all be laughing at the silly cat and his antics. ( )
  gsmith3 | Nov 4, 2013 |
What cats really do when their humans are away. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
My favorite children's book. I love this story. It begins with the cat seeing the young girl off to school, then describing the activity he engages in while she's away. My favorite line is "if there's any time to spare, I take the car for a quick spin around your room". I place emphasis on "your" when I read this story aloud, because he's totally taken over her space, without her knowledge, which I find funny--the picture is great, a cat in a car wearing a helmet.
  juliewerks | May 19, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395723604, Hardcover)

Hey Martha, when you go off to school, do you think your cat, Lionel, just sleeps all day? Well, boy, does Lionel have news for you! He reads the daily paper, called Cats Today; he pumps iron; he paints portraits of his neighbor, the glamorous Gladys from No. 34. And that's just his morning fun! Hey reader, sit back and laugh as Lionel reveals, at long last, the secret life of cats. Martha's not the only one who will be surprised.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:10 -0400)

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Martha thinks her cat sleeps all day, but nothing could be further from the truth, as the cat himself reveals all his daily activities.

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Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

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