In this beautiful picture book, winner of the 2005 Caldecott Medal, Kevin Henkes, captures the sweet, sometimes slapstick struggle of Kitten, who sees her first full moon and thinks it's a bowl of milk in the sky.
Any child who has yearned for anything will understand how much Kitten wants that elusive bowl of milk. Readers will giggle as she tries to lick the faraway moon and gets a bug on her tongue, or leaps to catch it and falls down the stairs. In an effective refrain, the narrator repeats, "Still, there was the little bowl of milk, just waiting." The winning combination here is the simplicity and humor of the story, paired with gorgeous black-and-white illustrations with thick black lines (mirrored by the thick bold sans-serif font) and shades of grey that are as luminous as a moonlit night should be. Full-moon circles and ovals appear throughout the design: white circle full moons on the endpapers, elliptical flowers by the porch, white circles of firefly light, oval pads on Kitten's paws, and her big round eyes (especially when surprised and soaking wet). Children will love Kitten's quest and ensuing comedy of errors, but what they will love even more is that there's an actual bowl of milk waiting on the porch for Kitten. (Preschool) --Karin Snelson
PreSchool-K-An irresistible offering from the multifaceted Henkes. The spare and suspense-filled story concerns a kitten that mistakes the moon for a bowl of milk. When she opens her mouth to lick the treat, she ends up with a bug on her tongue. Next, she launches herself into the air, paws reaching out for the object of her desire, only to tumble down the stairs, "bumping her nose and banging her ear and pinching her tail. Poor Kitten." Again and again, the feline's persistent attempts to reach her goal lead to pain, frustration, and exhaustion. Repetitive phrases introduce each sequence of desire, action, and consequence, until the animal's instincts lead her home to a satisfying resolution. Done in a charcoal and cream-colored palette, the understated illustrations feature thick black outlines, pleasing curves, and swiftly changing expressions that are full of nuance. The rhythmic text and delightful artwork ensure storytime success. Kids will surely applaud this cat's irrepressible spirit. Pair this tale with Frank Asch's classic Moongame (S & S, 1987) and Nancy Elizabeth Wallace's The Sun, the Moon and the Stars (Houghton, 2003) for nocturnal celebrations.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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