A girl and her mother give a kitten a forever home.
In this charming import from Japan via New Zealand, Hina and her mom discover a kitten on their doorstep. It’s been brought to them by its own mother, who seems to beg this family to take in and care for her scrawny newborn. Though Hina is initially reluctant to keep the newcomer, her mother agrees immediately and begins to demonstrate for her daughter—and readers—responsible, loving ways to care for a helpless new pet: gently washing it; promising a next-day visit to the vet; advising soft stroking; feeding it; and encouraging Hina to let the animal be while it acclimates. After such tender TLC, the kitten finds safe haven under some furniture, and girl and mom fashion some important cat necessities. By this time, the child’s changed her mind, but the plot turns when Hina suddenly realizes the kitten is missing and searches everywhere, finally locating her new pet in her closet, blissfully napping on her sweater. The simple storyline is sweetly told. The paint-and–colored-pencil illustrations stand out, with Sakai achieving a textured, scratchy, smudged look that wonderfully captures both the humans’ and the cats’ personalities; the adorable, blue-eyed kitten is marvelously realistic and winsome, its coat palpably soft. Mother and daughter have pinkish-tan skin, and Hina, especially, is most expressive.
This lost kitten will easily find enraptured readers, especially among cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-7)