Kitten! Don’t you know how to act like a kitten?
“Kitten wants a basket. / Kitten wants a pillow. / Kitten wants a blanket. / Kitten wants… // …a puppy.” Kitten’s owner, a dark-skinned little girl with pom-pom ponytails, tells her pet that kittens can’t have puppies. But Kitten gets the puppy and wants more: milk, catnip, fish and a helmet. “A helmet? / No, no, no, Kitten. / You cannot have a helmet. / You are a cat! / Cats do not wear helmets.” Kitten wants engines, gadgets and lasers….Kitten wants to “blast off to Jupiter.” Again the little girl says no. She demonstrates what kittens are allowed to have and what they aren’t, but Kitten does not listen. With Puppy, a helmet and a cardboard rocket, Kitten takes a trip to Jupiter. But what does Puppy want? Thomas’s repetitious almost-rhymes make for a rollicking read-aloud. Toddlers used to hearing that worst of all words, “NO,” will identify with the little girl in the images as she imaginatively plays with her rambunctious kitten and floppy-eared puppy, telling them, “no.” Nichols’ digitally colored illustrations are the real stars of this simple tale of imagination. Kitten’s cleanly paced mayhem is exhilarating.
This kitten ably proves that misbehaving can get you pretty far. (Picture book. 3-6)