Come Down, Cat!

Written by Sonya Hartnett
Illustrated by Lucia Masciullo

For ages 3 to 7

This book is best for:
  • action verbs
  • descriptive language
  • mental verbs
  • narrative retell


It is getting dark outside, and Nicholas’ cat is on the roof - she won’t come down. He climbs a rickety ladder to try and coax her inside, but she runs away. He warns her of the ghosts, monster and creepy crawlies that come out at night, but she doesn’t budge. Defeated, Nicholas goes to bed, tossing and turning while worrying about his poor cat stuck outside. It is only when it starts to rain that the cat miaows to come inside. Will Nicholas be brave enough to face the rain and darkness to save his cat?

'Come Down, Cat!' is a heartwarming story about overcoming fears for the ones we love. It is a fantastic book to encourage speech and language development, winning the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award in 2012. The rich descriptive language used throughout encourages children to engage with the book while forming vivid mental images of the events in the story. 'Come Down, Cat!' has a true narrative structure which makes it an excellent choice for targeting sequencing and narrative retell skills. It models a range of interesting action and mental verbs (e.g. think, remember), which children can practise including in their retells of the story.

For further speech and language targets in Come Down, Cat!, see the list below.

Book Details

Narrative Structure: Complex Episode ; True Narrative

Story Plot: Tale Of Fear

  • animals - pets, cats
  • bravery
  • courage
  • fear
  • night
  • places - home

Speech and Language Targets

Speech Sounds:
  • /k/ - come, cat, kitchen, Nicholas, lick, dark
  • /l/ - ladder, lick, legs, alone, Nicholas, fall
  • /n/ - Nicholas, night, down, alone, garden, rain, run, kitchen
  • /s/ - sat, see, sounds, Nicholas, across, fearless
  • /s/ blends - stay, skip, slippery, scritchy, scratchy, asleep, ghosts, monsters, whispers, whiskers
  • voiced /th/ - the, that, then, their
  • unvoiced /th/ - thought, things, thinking, thousands, something, with
  • conjunctions (and, then, so, but)
  • regular past tense
  • irregular past tense verbs (fell, ran, thought)
  • subjective pronouns (he)
  • action verbs
  • mental verbs (think, thought, remember)
  • labelling
  • describing
  • predicting
  • explaining means to a goal
  • making inferences
  • figurative language - similes (as high as the clouds)
  • descriptive concepts (high, old, heavy)
  • temporal concepts (day, night, then)
  • bravery
  • courage
  • emotions
  • empathy
  • fear
  • friendship
  • time
  • setting
  • weather
  • sequencing
  • initiating event
  • problem
  • plans
  • feelings
  • resolution
  • moral
  • direct character speech
Book Info

Published by Penguin Books Australia in 2015 (ISBN: 9780143506997)

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