cover image A Kitten Called Moonlight

A Kitten Called Moonlight

Martin Waddell. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-1176-7

Airy, light-infused chalk pastels illuminate this tender tale-within-a-tale of a girl, her mother and a stray rescued one cold, wintry night. Curled up in her house by the sea, Charlotte asks her mother to tell her again about that eventful night when, coming home in their car, the child was convinced she spied two bright eyes reflected in the headlights. At Charlotte's prodding, they searched for the creature and discovered a small white kitten that Charlotte named Moonlight (because ""we'd never have found him without the moonlight""). Related entirely in dialogue, the story exudes all the warmth of a mother obliging her child's frequent interruptions and embellishments and showcases Waddell's (Owl Babies) keen ear for the natural ebb and flow of conversation. Birmingham's (A Baby for Grace) artistry evokes the loving bond between mother and daughter; the misty, softly shaded portraits are shot through with light, from the faint glow of a streetlight and silvery stream of moonlight on the sea to the cozy golden warmth of their home. Ages 3-6. (Feb.)