Hello, friends! Our book today is Pretty Kitty, written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Stephanie Laberis, a delightful counting book with unexpected heart.
An elderly man alone in the big city comes upon a tiny kitty. He acknowledges the adorable kitten’s charm, but he makes it clear that he is not looking to adopt a cat. But as the first adorable kitten follows him home, another comes to join… then another… then ANOTHER. And over the course of two days, his front stoop fills up with a mother cat and her nine fluffy, irresistible babies. The man gives reason after reason that he cannot possibly adopt even a single one of them, even as he puts out food and gives them scratches. But as the snow begins to fall over the city and the furry family is left out in the cold, the man begins to wonder if his reasons, no matter how personal they may be, can really overcome his affection for his new friends…
This was ADORABLE. Going beyond just a standard counting book, the story is a touching one, especially for cat lovers big and small. The rhyming text is bouncy and flows easily while still creating some wonderful comedic and dramatic moments. The reveal of the true reason that the man is reluctant to adopt another cat is subtle and may fly over the heads of smaller readers, but it will surely tug at the heartstrings of anyone who has loved and lost a pet. I’m so impressed with this one because it attempts to cohere so many elements – comedy, pathos, numbers education, etc – and manages to tie them all together in a beautiful, heartwarming story that teaches as it entertains. Perfect length, JJ went WILD for precious and warm illustrations, and just a fantastic read overall! Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)