Itty Bitty is one large kitty.
When Ava asks her parents for a cat, “Dad look[s] doubtful. ‘Cats shed.’ Mom [shakes] her head. ‘Cats must be regularly fed.’ ” They tell Ava they’ll revisit the subject when she’s older. While she’s moping on a park bench, Ava hears an itty-bitty “Mew.” She takes the adorable purple kitten she finds and names him Itty Bitty, since he’s so tiny. Ava thinks her parents are still in a “No” mindset, so she keeps Itty Bitty a secret…but he doesn’t stay small for long. After a couple weeks, he’s huge. Her parents’ inevitable discovery of the cat leads them to tell Ava that Itty Bitty must go. But when Ava’s perfect puss keeps her infant brother from falling down the stairs, her parents change their tune. Holub’s run-of-the-mill kid-wants-a-pet tale is enlivened somewhat by the end and internal rhymes in the text. However, it’s Burks’ bright, digital cartoon illustrations in all their big-eyed, Chuck Jones–esque glory that recommend this ponderous pussycat parable.
Even the most avid cat lovers may feel like giving this a miss. (Picture book. 2-5)