cover image The New Kitten

The New Kitten

Joyce Carol Oates, illus. by Dave Mottram. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-256392-7

Cherie the cat has a plummy life with the Smith family, until they bring home Cleopatra, a kitten who immediately seems to displace Cherie in everyone’s affections. Cherie’s journey back into the heart of the family takes some predictable twists and turns. In rich tones, Mottram’s digitally enhanced drawings play up the kitten’s adorable saucer-green eyes as she enjoys everything the elder cat is forbidden from doing (batting at toilet paper, pouncing upon her dry food). Adult author Oates’s wordy narrative follows an ill-advised attempt to run away that brings Cherie face-to-face with animal bullies. But the bullies remind Cherie that the family’s new addition is vulnerable—“just a kitten”—and the final page finds the two reconciled and snuggled together. Ages 4–8. [em](June) [/em]