CARLOTTA’S KITTENS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


and the Club of Mysteries
Age Range: 9 - 11
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In this third of a series, Marco, Polo, and the other feline members of the Club of Mysteries take it upon themselves to protect the much-loved Carlotta’s five kittens from the dangers posed by both four-legged and two-legged predators, and to teach the kittens the skills they will need to survive in the cold, cruel world. And cruel it is. There is a continuous stream of dire warnings of peril and graphic descriptions of terrible deaths that may befall them. Even a discussion of the lifecycle of stars concludes that all we see are the ghosts of dead stars. This book is almost unrelentingly depressing. Life is real; life is earnest! Strangely, in the midst of all this reality, there is an incongruously cute and fanciful explanation of cats’ procreation. At the end all the kittens jump into the yard of an old-age home and are instantly adopted. This surprisingly happy conclusion is entirely at odds with the tone of the book and Naylor seems to present it as an effort to reassure or placate the young reader. Black ink drawings aptly depict the action, concentrating on the darker moments. Here, too, the last illustration of the happy ending is quite different in tone and style from all the others. A disappointing effort from a usually dependable author. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-83269-9
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2000


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