Aug 3, 2012

Kitten's Spring

by Eugenie Fernandes

I saw one of these little picture books on display and was intrigued by the charming illustrations so then I searched out the entire set. The concept is very simply; a kitten wanders through the woods near his home seeing what other animals are doing during different seasons of the year. At the end of the book Kitten returns home where a warm meal or cozy bed is always waiting for him. The text is just two-word rhyming phrases, it is the pictures that make this book. They are so rich in detail I sat looking through the book several times just to take it all in.

As the kitten wanders through the forest we see birds singing and nesting, insects crawling about, frogs near the water, a ducking hatching and a new baby calf, a lamb gamboling and a horse running in a meadow, as well as many other things. I like that the book doesn't tidy up nature; the owl is shown feeding her baby something obviously fuzzy and limp (dead mouse?), the piglet is nursing as his mother lies in a mud wallow. But the pictures are so charming that I don't think these details would bother anyone on the contrary they would encourage children to learn about those kinds of realities. The pictures are just amazing. They're made from a combination of modeled clay, cut paper and cloth, painted backgrounds (looks like watercolor to me but might by acrylic washes.) The cow's tail is yarn threads. It's just lovely and wonderfully engaging to look at. As a plus, each book begins by showing the farm scene and you can look at them altogether to observe how the garden, pond, flowerbed, etc change with the seasons. As the kitten enters the house at the end of each story, there are things scattered about evident of what people have been doing at that time of year; in this spring book there are seed packets and seedlings in trays, bulbs flowering in pots. For most of the pages the kitten is in the background or peeking through leaves, so it can turn into a find-the-kitty exercise too, which is always fun for kids.

rating: 4/5 ........ 24 pages, 2010

more opinions:
BookAndAGarden
Young Readers
Kiss the Book

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