Review Blog

Dec 06 2015

Itty Bitty Kitty by Joan Holub

cover image

Ill. by James Birks. HarperCollins, 2015. ISBN 9780062322197
(Age: Pre-school - Yr 2) Like many little people, Ava's greatest wish is to have a pet of her own but her parents believe she is too small. Besides, with a new baby and her dad's work her parents are busy enough already. However, Ava is not deterred and when she finds a "furry purry, snuggly huggly, cutie patootie itty bitty kitty" abandoned in a box near the seat at the end of her street she thinks her dreams have come true. Even though she wants her parents' permission, they're too busy to listen and so she decides to keep Itty Bitty a secret. He was just what she wanted but sadly he didn't stay itty-bitty for long - he was a very hungry kitty - and the damage bills kept mounting. Disaster strikes when he escapes from her room and he 'scared the fish, broke a dish, chased a bug, clawed the rug, leaped from a cupboard and got DISCOVERED!" Ava is devastated and it seems that Itty Bitty Kitty is to be abandoned yet again until.
This is a story that will appeal to young readers, particularly those who empathise with Ava in their own quest for a pet, but also because of the internal rhyme structures in places that give the text a lyrical rhythm. There is no repetitive phrase for them to anticipate and shout out but the story moves along at a fast clip and the ending, while predictable, is satisfying. The illustrations are big and bright and bold, almost cartoon-like, and right from the front cover it is clear that this is anything but an itty bitty kitty setting up the reader for a story of contradiction!
While Joan Holub as an author is new to me, she is cited as being the " New York Times bestselling author of Mighty Dads. She is also author and/or illustrator of over 130 books for children, including author of the picture books Little Red Writing and Zero the Hero, and co-author of the bestselling Goddess Girls and Grimmtastic Girls chapter book series." There is a new Itty Bitty Kitty adventure due early next year.
Barbara Braxton

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