Eileen Spinelli, , illus. by Anne Mortimer. . Hyperion, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0458-0

Coaxing Kittycat to sleep, Spinelli's (In My New Yellow Shirt, reviewed above) unseen narrator recounts in rhyme the pet's very busy day: "Sniffing pots of catmint/ Prancing on the chairs/ Knocking over paint cans/ Underneath the stairs." As the narrative progresses, the cat winds down its day, and parents can use the volume's final lines to reassure youngsters: "Should you have a bad dream/ I will be nearby/ Close enough to hold you/ If I hear you cry." Mortimer's (A Pussycat's Christmas) realistic watercolor illustrations make Kittycat's fluffy softness palpable. Children will also get a kick out of the way the feline's mouse sidekick works hard to upstage the title character—in one spread, as Kittycat regards the kitchen clock, Mouse swings on its pendulum. The best portraits of Kittycat use the animal's posture to convey personality, just before pouncing, for instance, or washing up paws. At other times, it's hard to believe the cat would knock over a paint can or become tangled in a ball of yarn; there's a blankness in the feline's big green eyes that counteracts the playfulness of the text. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)