Kat Michels pleads for freedom, dynamism and laughter for a healthy childhood

Kat Michels, Children Have Got to be Carefully Taught. Illustrated by A. Sutton. Published 2014, 36p

Kat Michels, 10 Cheeky Monkeys. Illustrated by A. Sutton. Published 2015 by In Heels Publishing, 50p


A few days ago I asked my daughter to come with me to the post office to pick up a parcel which I thought was my new pair of shoes. I was wrong and to Ema’s surprise the parcel was actually an enormous box from Romania – her birthday present from her grandparents. She didn’t know how to react – to just be happy, to open the box in the post office, to thank the lady at the desk or to rush back home with her unexpected surprise. When we reached the front door she saw another parcel in the mail; noticing Kat Michels’ name on it I told Ema there was a second surprise for her – some books. She began to sing and her eyes were shining with happiness.

No parcel had been open yet but her curiosity was more than intense; and once more I was proved that the element of new and unexpected intrigues children and makes them joyful. And to my amazement Kat’s books were saying the same.

Children Have Got to be Carefully Taught is about the things we all knew but one day forgot; it takes us back to the innocence and magic of childhood, exploring its fundamental and healthy principles. Raising a child is not about telling what not to do but about teaching him or her what to do to be cheerful and peaceful.

Children have got to be properly led to dance and sing before going to bed,

To find shapes in clouds and frogs by the stream, to cartwheel and log roll and always to dream.

Childhood is the age of mysteries and curiosity so splashing in the rain, playing with food, accepting heroes and villains are components of the discovery and understanding of the world. Parents are responsible to present the world, with affection and cleverness, but the little ones should have the freedom to explore.

10 Cheeky Monkeys reiterates the idea of exploration using ten curious, lovely primates that end up to one solitary monkey due to their new preoccupations. In addition to the funny story, the author insists on counting and learning some new words. There is a glossary at the end of the book, which I find very practical, that introduces children some new words (athletic, plotted, sassy, studious, whimsical etc).

8 sassy monkeys found cloth and made a bow, so obviously they put on a fashion snow.

Then one sassy monkey took the show to Devon, and there were seven.

As I strongly believe in children’s intellectual capacities, I appreciate engaging books that use challenging vocabulary and the authors that keep in mind the fact that one of the literature’s main functions is to develop language and provide children with an expansion of their vocabulary.



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