This saccharine, exclamation-filled story is purr-fect for young cat fans but not many others.

MISTY THE SCARED KITTEN

From the Kitty's Magic series , Vol. 1

The first in a new chapter book series introduces a girl who can turn into a cat.

Koemi “Kitty” Kimura loves cats more than anything (hence her nickname), but she’s allergic to them. When the Japanese-American girl’s white best friend, Jenny, invites Kitty to see her new pale gray kitten, Misty, Kitty’s Japanese-born grandmother allows her to go as long as she wears a family heirloom: a small charm imprinted with a picture of a cat. Fleetingly, Kitty wonders how a pendant can stop her from sneezing but quickly puts the thought aside for a sleepover at Jenny’s. Later, Kitty has an uncontrollable sneezing fit that turns her into a cat. Fortunately, Misty is there to welcome Kitty to the world of cats. On their first midnight adventure, they run into two bullies: a pair of twin Persians named Fang and Claws. Kitty and Misty report the troublemakers to the local Cat Council, the keepers of feline order. At her first council meeting, Kitty discovers she’s the latest in an ancient matrilineal line of Cat Guardians, humans who can turn into cats, and her first task is to stop the bullies. Kitty’s immediate family consists of her grandmother and her parents, who own a Japanese imports shop. The artwork, reminiscent of Mary Blair’s, features rosy, cozy images of romping kittens, an apt complement to the self-consciously breathless text.

This saccharine, exclamation-filled story is purr-fect for young cat fans but not many others. (Fantasy. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-607-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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