Written and Illustrated by: Bob Shea
Preview and Predict
See what these little cats have up their sleeve when dealing with the overly enthusiastic Cheetah. Begin your read-through by drawing attention to different elements in the cover and illustrations, and make predictions about the story. There are quite a few tips and suggestions throughout this guide, so feel free to spread them out across multiple readings. Ask questions like:
What do you notice on the cover?
What are the little cats doing on the cover? Why do you think they are smiling?
Why do you think Cheetah can't lose?
What do you think will happen in this story?
Do you like to race? Are you a fast runner? How fast?
As You Read
Help build your child's vocabulary by following the words with your finger as you read. Occasionally, ask what letter words start with and identify sight words like THE and IT, if your child isn't already reading. Use distinct voices for Cheetah and the cats, which will help differentiate between who is speaking in the text.
Let your child engage with the story in different ways like letting him/her follow the flower jumping path with his/her fingers. This will help your child interact with the book even if s/he isn't reading. Encourage your child to ask questions and ask comprehension questions of your own as you go along like, "Even though they keep losing, why do the cats look happy?" Cheetah gains a new thing from each competition, so you can do mini recaps as you go along, saying "Now Cheetah has his special winner shoes from the flower jumping race and a full tummy from the pie eating race. What do you think the next race will be?"
Take this time to recap the story and build comprehension of the storyline. Try using these questions and any more that may come to mind:
Did you like this story? What was your favorite part?
What happened in this story?
Why did Cheetah think that he was the fastest racer? Was it true? Why/why not?
Why did the cats say that Cheetah won even though it wasn't true?
Extending the Story
Relay Race Fun
Source: Mamas Like Me
Mamas Like Me has some great, silly relay races that you can try at home! From egg relay races to shoe hunting races, these ideas are sure to get your little one moving and having fun!
Help your child create a chart that keeps track of the times of all of your participants. Work together to document everyone's times using a stop watch or timer, and make comparisons between times. Who had the fastest time? Who improved the most?
Check This Out
There is a reason that Cheetah thought that he couldn't lose: because cheetahs are the world's fastest runners! Watch here as National Geographic films one of these speedy runners with one of the world's fastest cameras.