cover image Five Little Kittens

Five Little Kittens

Nancy Jewell. Clarion Books, $9.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-77517-2

Jewell's (Sailor Song) cozy, lilting text traces a day in the lives of five winsome kittens. The sleepy quintet begins each morning standing in line as their mother bathes each ""with her rough, pink tongue,"" and ends the day as their parents give them ""five kisses,/ and [turn] out the light."" Like a lullaby, the tone of the verse is snug and homey, and the day depicted is filled with familiar chores. The kittens model their parents' behavior with their toy mouse, feeding him ""a toy fish bun/ in his little toy house"" and tucking him into bed. Sayles's (Millions of Snowflakes) pastel illustrations with their sloe-eyed felines are full of warm fuzzies. The kittens lick their whiskers, loll comfortably in their parents' laps and rub their muzzles under their parents' feet. A clock indicates their 9:00 a.m. wake-up call and their noon meal, and each whiskered character exhibits a distinct personality (e.g., a charcoal gray kitten with white markings falls asleep at breakfast and slacks off on the chores). As a bedtime soother, this leisurely paced, gentle rhyme may well induce the desired catnap. Ages 2-6. (Aug.)