Oops! I’m late, I’m late. But I do have a lovely picture book to share as we countdown to Christmas Day.
Christmas for a Kitten
Illustrated by: Layne Johnson
Published by: Albert Whitman & Co USA 2003
Ages: 5 – 8 years old
Theme: fear, loneliness, happiness, belonging
Opening Lines: On a chilly night, in a barn far, far away from the North Pole, a kitten that had never seen or heard of Christmas slept snug against his mother.
Synopsis: When a kitten in a barn is snatched from his mother and dumped by the side of the road in the country, he must survive in the wild on his own. He climbs into the trunk of a car whose owners are bringing a tree home on Christmas Eve. Hiding from the owners and their dog he knocks down some ornaments and climbs the tree. The Santa’s milk and cookies are a treat, but It’s not until a visitor arrives that the kitty is rescued and gets a new lease on life and a name.
Why I like this: I thought this a beautifully illustrated Christmas book for kids. The reader will be captivated by the illustrator’s portrayal of fear and happiness in the eyes of the kitten as it experiences some of the most horrible experiences and the most wonderful experiences within the story. The realistic beginning may be a bit too much for younger readers as the kitten is snatched and put inside a bag as he hears the words “too many cats,” uttered, and then thrown into the forest and left. The author uses this event to set the stage for this kitten to find real happiness in a most unusual place. I am sure kids will be glued to this story from beginning to end as they follow the kitten on its journey to find Christmas. While very realistic in the beginning the ending is unexpected and a treat. And no the kitten does not stay with the family. Hahaha you will have to read it to find out what happens. Gorgeous deep blues and whites of a snowy cold night dotted with Christmas glow on full pages of illustrations is a feast for the eye you will enjoy.
The story was inspired when Robin and her family found a cat while tramping through the snow at a Christmas tree farm. Layne is a cat lover and has two. It is his water-loving yellow cat that helped him draw the kitten for this book.
Resources/Findings: Here is a video of the beautiful pictures but beware of spoiler alert.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksLoorH8El8
I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view. So pop over and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.
As it’s the last of Perfect Picture Book Friday for 2016 I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Enjoy the festivities, take care if you are driving long distances. Look after your pets, they too deserve a Christmas treat, so don’t neglect them. Whether serving up hot toddies round an open fire in your part of the world or a BBQ at the beach, I hope dear friends you all have fun, love one another and I’ll see you back here soon in 2017. All the best.