Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Callie Cat, Ice Skater

Callie Cat, Ice Skater

Eileen Spinelli
Illustrator:  Anne Kennedy 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Albert Whitman, 2007   ISBN: 978-0807510421

Callie Cat loves to skate more than anything. Why she loves to skate more than she likes to eat chocolate cake. So on weekend mornings Callie skates by day and on the weekdays she skates by night. Skating gives her a feeling of “melting sweetness” inside which has “no name.”

Callie has two friends, Liza and May, who don’t like skating much and they are always trying to get Callie to do something else with them. Then they hear about the Honeybrook Ice Skating Contest. All of a sudden Liza and May are full of enthusiasm about skating. They want Callie to win because they want her to win the prizes that are being offered to the winner of the contest.

When it is Callie’s turn to perform she does a fabulous job but she does not win. Her friends expect her to be broken hearted but Callie isn’t. For some reason not winning doesn’t make her feel sad at all.

The next morning Callie goes out skating and she discovers something very important about skating. And she finally understands why the contest was not really that important to her.

In this very special picture book Eileen Spinelli explores a child’s feelings as she does something which enjoys doing more than anything else. The heroine of the story learns that just doing what she loves is enough for her. She does not need to win contests or to get prizes for her hobby to be meaningful. It is wonderful that such a valuable message is being passed along to children who live in a society which tends to be so award-seeking and award-demanding. In this book children are being shown that doing what you love will be a reward in itself.