In Mittens’ sixth outing, he goes to school to be Nick’s show-and-tell, but sitting all day in his carrier is boring.
Watching Nick write, then paint just increases Mittens’ desire for “something to do.” The clever kitten gets his opportunity when the class leaves for gym, and he escapes. The abacus on the math table is fun…until it crashes to the floor, scattering the beads. Running across the piano keys makes the most pleasant sound…but not the piano lid slamming shut. And flipping through the pages of a book is most satisfying…until the children's return startles the kitten into nudging it off the shelf. But Mittens is nothing if not honest, and when the teacher asks who dropped the book, his “Meow” is an admission of guilt that opens the door to giving him something to do—meeting the class. Hartung’s watercolor illustrations capture the expressions of the kitten as his emotions vacillate from sad to pleased to bored to engaged to uh-oh-I’m-in-trouble, the last being an especially understandable and identifiable emotion for Mittens’ emerging-reader audience. Ample white space and a large font support the short, simple sentences, and the few vocabulary words that may pose a challenge are repeated several times.
With its feline star, school theme and mild suspense, this is another solid addition to early-reader collections. (Early reader. 4-7)