cover image Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten

Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten

Laura Purdie Salas, illus. by Hiroe Nakata. Two Lions, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5420-4246-8

On opening day, a calm-loving kitten finds a lot to dislike about kittygarten: blocks clatter when they tumble, the teacher’s hand bell sounds like a gong, and another kitty’s tail invades her “purrrrrrsonal space!” Though Oliver, a kind classmate, reaches out to her reassuringly, Clover storms out the door at day’s end, announcing, “I quit!” In a departure from most adjusting-to-school tales, she stands her ground for quite some time. Her mother lets her stay home for three days, resting and playing quietly, and covers for her when Oliver tries to visit. Clover finally has the anticipated change of heart, wondering what it would be like to have a friend to play with, but she also preps smartly (earmuffs, sunglasses) for the classroom’s sensory barrage, and capably sets boundaries where she needs them. Salas shapes a read-aloud that will spark conversation with first-timers who are sensitive to stimulus, while Nakata humorously conveys the resolute feline’s emotions in expressive watercolor images. Ages 4–6. [em](Aug.) [/em]