Carrot by Vanita Oelschlager is a children's book for ages 4-8, illustrated by Kristin Blackwood. It tells the story of a simple orange house cat who one day notices a beautiful white cat sitting on a yacht at the pier. Carrot dreams of living that cat's fancy, rich life, fantasizing about all the amenities that would come with wealth. But soon Carrot starts to consider the things in her own life she'd miss, the things she would no longer be able to do if she lived a life of luxury. She comes to an important realization about her common, but happy life.
The rhyming scheme and its cadence reminded me of reading Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline books. But in a few spots, I felt the rhythm wasn't as intuitive as it could have been. After a couple readings, I figured it out and those spots felt fine. It didn't bother my 3 1/2 year old at all, because the first time we read it, she made me read it again three times in a row! Obviously she loved this book. The colorful illustrations grabbed her attention and kept her lingering on each page. She laughed and commented and asked questions throughout the story. I appreciated that there were some "big" words that encouraged her to ask for the meaning, such as cotillion, chiffon, caviar, and socialite - but not too many; she never lost interest, never had trouble following the story.
A standard I use when looking for quality children's books is, could I stand to read this over and over and over again? Carrot definitely meets that criteria, and I can already tell it's going to be a favorite in our house.