Grade 1-3-A tiny black-and-white kitten learns to be "watchful," "quiet," "careful," "patient," "hopeful," "wise," "quick," "brave," and finally "loved." Though the basic text reads well enough, adding the phrase, "he had learned-" to the end of each page turns the book into a "Kitten Scout Manual," emphasizing the attributes the feline learns rather than his story. Rowe's realistic illustrations are kind to cats and plants but tend to flatten out everything else, focusing on the main character. The setting does not appear to be England or America (places of publication), though the kitten's story is universal. Those willing to ferret out the strengths of the text to discuss life's lessons may find Kitten a useful addition; others will want to pass on it and recommend their copies of James Herriot's The Christmas Day Kitten (St. Martin's, 1993) or Margaret Wild's The Very Best of Friends (Harcourt, 1990) for feline rites of passage.
Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A gentle and moving text by Judy Waite is perfectly matched by Gavin Rowe's haunting watercolor illustrations. Judy Waite is the author of The Storm Seal, Mouse, Look Out! and Cheat. Gavin Rowe is a well-known British artist. His last four books - The Sleepy Dormouse, The Prickly Hedgehog, The Hungry Otter, and The Frightened Little Owl - were also published by Crocodile Books.