cover image The Cats Kids

The Cats Kids

Kay Chorao. Holiday House, $16.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1405-5

A family of frisky felines make the scene in this picture book containing a trio of sweet-natured stories. Like siblings everywhere, Martha, Jake and Sam bicker and tease one another, but in Chorao's (Little Farm by the Sea) hands, the kittens discover plenty to like about each other as well. In ""Red Hat,"" Jake takes his little brother Sam sledding and once the younger kitten stops ""acting like a baby,"" the two have a great time. But when older sister Martha insists that Jake was baby-sitting Sam and not just playing with him, Sam runs away. In ""Orange Dress,"" budding thespian Martha longs for the lead role in the school play. Jake coaches her so well with her lines that the teacher chooses him for the part instead. And a case of mistaken identity sets Jake's imagination running in ""Black Witch Hat."" The kittens' underlying love for each other and the influence of their kind and supportive parents ensure a happy ending to each outing. Chorao's winsome watercolors capture brightly clad kittens with a range of emotions. The realistic tone of the siblings' exchanges contributes to an authentic family dynamic that will strike a note of recognition among readers. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)