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K IS FOR KITTEN by Niki Clark Leopold


by Niki Clark Leopold & illustrated by Susan Jeffers

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-399-23563-9
Publisher: Putnam

A tiny ginger kitten is rescued from the alley in this alphabetic adventure. From A to Z, Leopold (Once I Was . . . , 1999) chronicles a young girl’s first day with her foundling. Christening the kitty Miss Rosie, she welcomes the feline to her home, introducing it to the inhabitants and surrounding environs. In typical kittenish fashion, Rosie’s curiosity is greater than her common sense as she recklessly teases the resident dog, frolics after squirrels, tussles with a frog, and generally tumbles from one misadventure to another. A dunk in the pond, a quarrel with a neighborhood cat, getting stuck up a tree, all wear out the petite, furry whirlwind, who ultimately settles down with a contented string of Zs at tale’s end. Rhythmic verses are arranged with a stanza of rhymes dedicated to each letter. The playful stanzas successfully convey both the naïveté and rampant curiosity that is so potently kitten. “S is for Shadow. / Wherever she goes, / A little gray kitten / Plays with her toes.” Jeffers’s (McDuff Saves the Day, p. 743, etc.) delicately detailed gouache and colored-ink illustrations beguile readers with the full force of Miss Rosie’s considerable charm. Wide, green eyes peer out of the pages with incredulity, and with wee ears eagerly pointed forward and sassy tail perkily aloft, the cuddlesome kitten leaps paws first into each mishap. A frisky feline frolic through the alphabet. (Picture book. 2-6)