Mama Cat Has Three Kittens

Denise Fleming, Author, Denise Fleming, Illustrator Henry Holt & Company $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-5745-4
From Peter Rabbit to the Poky Little Puppy, there's one in every family--one offspring who marches to the beat of a different drummer. In Fleming's (In the Tall, Tall Grass) chipper picture book, the odd kitten out is Boris, an orange tabby who prefers to nap while his mother and siblings sharpen their claws and chase leaves. But when Mama Cat and kittens Fluffy and Skinny curl up for a rest, Boris is ready to pounce (if only to find his next napping spot). Fleming's self-proclaimed love of cats (she lives with seven) permeates this somewhat slight but playful outing, as she accurately captures feline behavior and movement. The repetition of simple phrases and actions is also sure to be a hit with toddlers. In her vibrant artwork, composed with boldly colored cotton fiber pulp and stencils, Fleming creates a sense of texture and depth unique to her medium. Mama Cat's luxurious black fur is speckled and contoured with blue and flashes of fuchsia, an unusual but effective color combination, which endows Mama with both dimension and significance. On every page, the cats' eyes shine brightly in varying tones of fluorescent yellow and green. In addition to following the frolicking felines from scene to scene, young children will have great fun spotting trios of caterpillars, ladybugs, snails and bumblebees as well as a leery mouse who manages to stay out of the cats' path. Ages 2-5. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/14/1998
Release date: 09/01/1998
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