CATastrophe!: A Story of Patterns (A Catastrophe Tale) (Hardcover)

CATastrophe!: A Story of Patterns (A Catastrophe Tale) By Ann Marie Stephens, Jenn Harney (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Ann Marie Stephens, Jenn Harney (Illustrator)


Nine kittens go on an exciting boating adventure that’s a (funny) catastrophe in this playful picture book that demonstrates the key math concept of patterns.

A crew of hungry kittens and their captain head to the lake to catch some dinner, but the fish have surprises in store for them. Even before the cats encounter the fish, they run into trouble. What happens when confused kitties paddle every which way? Or when they all lean in the same direction? A pattern is needed to avoid a catastrophe!
Patterns are the foundation on which math is built. Using strong rhythm, clever wordplay, and countable characters, CATastrophe! is a fun read-aloud that also shows what patterns can do. Helpful backmatter will deepen readers’ understanding and challenge them to find more patterns in this book and in our world. There’s also much to find in the illustrations—including a dragonfly and worm that each appear twenty times.

About the Author

Ann Marie Stephens has been an elementary teacher for over 28 years. She was a contributing writer for Kwame Alexander’s The Write Thing, a co-writer for Trait Crate Plus for grades 3 and 5, and has had dozens of original ideas published in Instructor and The Mailbox magazines. She blogs for teachers at You can find her on Facebook, Ann Marie Stephens (AMStephensAuthor), and on Instagram and Twitter @AMStephens.

Jenn Harney is an illustrator and toy designer. She is the illustrator of Probably a Narwhal, Never Trumpet with a Crumpet, “Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses: How James Kelly’s Nose Saved the New York City Subway, the Hazy Bloom series, and her work has been featured in Highlights for Children magazine.  Visit her at

Praise For…

"Stephens deftly incorporates the concepts of patterns and pattern cores into her simple tale and includes an enjoyable explanatory page at the close as well as integrated seek-and-find challenges. Harney’s bright, energy-filled cartoons are a great match and maintain a fine balance of cute, color, comedy…and cats. Playfulness makes repeated reads a must for fans of cats or calculation." —Kirkus Reviews

"A great read-aloud and a strong pick for early math collections." —Booklist
Product Details
ISBN: 9781635923216
ISBN-10: 1635923212
Publisher: Astra Young Readers
Publication Date: August 10th, 2021
Pages: 32
Language: English
Series: A Catastrophe Tale