HIMMELMAN, John. Katie Loves the Kittens. illus. by author. unpaged. CIP. Holt. Sept. 2008. RTE $16.95. ISBN 978-0-8050-8682-9. LC 2007040896.
PreS-Gr 3—When Sara Ann brings home three little kittens, her enthusiastic dog, Katie, is beside herself with joy. Unfortunately, the tail-wagging pooch shows her affection through leaps, bounds, and howls that scare the newcomers and earn her repeated reprimands from the child. The next day, things go from bad to worse as Katie eats the food intended for kittens. Overcome with sadness, she slinks off to her bed, falls asleep, and wakes up to find the felines curled up on top of her. Luckily, she has learned her lesson, and despite her frantically quivering body and wagging tale, she stays still and the kittens are not afraid. Himmelman's charming watercolor-and-ink illustrations depict a character sure to earn the affection of young readers. Katie's expressive movements make both her excitement and her dismay palpable and adorable. Youngsters will root for the pup as she tries to figure out how to make this new friendship work. Pair this with other stories of unlikely dog-cat friendships such as Lyn Rossiter McFarland's Widget (Farrar, 2001) or Marie Hall Ets's classic Play with Me (Puffin, 1976).—Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY