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WHAT’S THAT, MITTENS? by Lola M. Schaefer

WHAT’S THAT, MITTENS?

By Lola M. Schaefer (Author) , Susan Kathleen Hartung (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-054662-5
Publisher: HarperCollins

In the third entry in this series for the newest readers, an inquisitive, gray-striped kitten named Mittens meets his next-door neighbor, a dog named Max. Using a minimal text in a large font, the simple story introduces Mittens, who plays alone in his fenced-in backyard. Mysterious scratching and barking noises from the other side of the white picket fence ensue, with plenty of leading questions and broad hints that prompt the new reader to predict what will happen to Mittens next. Soon the kitten and the unseen critter are both digging away on their respective sides of the fence to mutually beneficial effect, leading to a budding friendship. The author skillfully integrates short exclamations and animal sounds into the text, moving the story along and adding sensory details within the early-reader format. Hartung’s soft-focus watercolor illustrations imbue the appealing kitten and the big (but friendly) dog with a perky sweetness that will charm the youngest readers. (Early reader. 4-7)